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Ed.ted by F. Ll. GRIFFITH 

















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Edited by F. Ll. GRIFFITH 
















and 527, Tremont Temple, Boston, Mass., U.S.A. 

also by KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRUBNER & CO., Dkyden House, 43, Gerhard Street, Soho, W. 
B. QUARITCH, 11, Grafton Street, New Bond Street, W. ; ASHER & CO., 14, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, W.C, and 
56, Unter den Linden, Berlin ; and HENRY FROWDE, Amen Corner, E.C., and 29-35, West 32nd Street, New York, U.S.A. 







The Et. Hon. The EAEL OP CEOMEE, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.M.G., K.C.S.I. 


Field-Marshal Lord Grenfell, G.C.B. 

The Eev. Prof. A. H. Sayce, M.A. 

P. G. Kenyon, Esq., C.B., M.A., D.Litt. 
Prof. W. W. Goodwin (U.S.A.) 

The Hon. Chas. L. Hutchinson (U.S.A.) 

Dr. Wallace N. Stearns (U.S.A.) 

Josiah Mullens, Esq. (Australia) 

Sir Gaston Maspero, K.C.B.,D.C.L. (Prance) 

Prof. Ad. Erman, Ph.D. (Germany) 

Prof. Edouard Naville (Switzerland) 

1£>on. treasurers 

H. A. Grueber, Esq., F.S.A. 
Chester I. Campbell, Esq. (U.S.A.) 

1bon. Secretaries 

J. S. Cotton, Esq., M.A. 
Dwight Lathrop Elmendorf, Esq., A.B., A.M., Ph.D. (U.S.A.) 


Soiiers Clarke, Esq., F.S.A. 
Newton Crane, Esq. (U.S.A.) 
Sir Arthur John Evans, M.A., D.Litt. 

Prof. Ernest A. Gardner, M.A. 
P. Ll. Griffith, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 
H. E. Hall, Esq. 

The Eev. Arthur Cayley Headlam, D.D. 
D. G. Hogarth, Esq., M.A. 
F. Legge, Esq., F.S.A. 
Prof. Alexander Macalister, M.D. 

of Committee 

Mrs. McClure. 

The Eev. W. MacGregor, M.A. 

J. Grafton Milne, Esq., M.A. 

Eobert Mond, Esq., F.E.S.E. 

The Marquess of Northampton, E.G. 

Francis Wm. Percival, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 

Dr. Allen Sturge. 

Mrs. Tirard. 

John Ward, Esq., F.S.A. 

T. Herbert Warren, Esq., M.A., D.C.L. 

E. Towry Whyte, Esq., M.A., F.S.A. 


List of Plates with References to the Pages on which they are described 




By J. W. Crowfoot. 

Introductory. The Pioneers of Research .... 
Chapter I. — Description. 

Sect. 1. Meroe and the Riverlands 
Sect. 2. The Inner Lands 
Basa . 
The Ha wad 
Sect. 5. Umm Soda 
Sect. 6. Gebel Geili 


Sect. 3. 
Sect. 4. 

Sect. 7. 

Chapter II. — Historical Considerations. 

Sect. 1. History of Meroe before 70 a. d. 

Sect. 2. Meroe and its Neighbours in the Imperil Age 

Sect. 3. Evidence of the Monuments 










By F. Lx. Griffith. 
Preface . . ....... 

Introduction . ........ 

Table of the Meroitic Alphabets ...... 



Meroitic Inscriptions — 


Soba ............ 


Gebel Geili ........... 



Temple of the Lion -god ........ 


The Roman Kiosque ........ 


Temple of Ammon ......... 


Temple / .......... 


Wad BenAga . ........ 




Umm Soda ........... 


Ba'sa ............ 



The City 


The Necropolis and the Pyramids in the Plain (Group C) 


The Pyramids on the Hills (Groups A, B) . 


Dangel ........... 





























Map showing S.E. district of the Meroite region 

1. Kocks and rest-house at Gebel Dimiat . 

2. Hafir and galta combined called Balako, near Abu Daleik 

3. 4. Temporary hut in Hawad 
5. Carved stones at Khor Aulib reservoir 
6-8. Views at Ba r sa 
Plan of site at Ba r sa 
Plan of temple at Murabba r 
Plan of temple at Ba r sa . 
Ba c sa (lions) . 

,, (frog and lions) 
,, (lions, etc.) 
„ (capital, etc.) . 
,, sundial . 
Stone rings from Ba c sa temple 
26-28. Small objects from Ba f sa temple 
29. Stela, Umm Soda 
Umm Soda reservoir (plan) 
Gebel Geili 

No. 1. The ram from Soba 
Inscription on the ram from Soba 
Plan showing position of the temples at Naga . 
Naga, Lion temple, scenes and inscriptions on pylon 
,, scenes on side walls 

,, inscriptions on side walls 

,, scenes and inscriptions on back wall 

inscription from Roman kiosk . 
Ammon temple, scenes on first gateway 
,, inscriptions on gateways 

,, scenes and inscriptions on column 

inscription on temple / . 
Wad Benaga (no. 41), stand with bilingual cartouches 




































3, 58- 






















. 42-44, Musauwarat es-Sufra 


45, Umm Soda .... 


46, Ba c sa 




46, „ 
49, Meroe 
52, „ 

DO, ,, 


Meroe, nos. 47, 48, from ruins of city 


no. 49, from Pyr. C 15 


no. 50, from Group C . 




nos. 51-54, Pyr. A 10 
nos. 55, 56, Pyr. A 15 
no. 57, Pyr. A 27 



nos. 58, 59, Pyr. A 27. 




no. 59 

nos. 60, 61 . 

no. 65 



nos. 60, 61, Pyr. A 28 
nos. 62-64, Pyr. A 31 




no. 64 
no. 70 



no. 65, Pyr. A 36 
nos. 66, 67, Pyr. A 38 
nos. 68-70, Pyr. A 39 
no. 71, Pyr. A 41 



73, Meroe Pyramids, fragments of glazed altars 


74, Dangel granite stela 















































James Bruce, the discoverer of the Abyssinian 
sources of the Nile, was the first of modern 
travellers to recognize the true limits and position 
of the Island of Meroe, a region roughly equal 
in area to Ireland, enclosed by the Atbara, the 
Nile, the Blue Nile and its tributaries. He was 
returning from Abyssinia by way of the Nile 
valley in the autumn of 1772, when by chance 
he stumbled upon the remains of the ancient 
capital. " On the 20th of October," he writes, 1 
" in the evening we left Shendy, and rested two 
miles from the town and about a mile from the 
river ; the next day, the 21st, we continued our 
journey ; at nine we alighted to feed our camels 
under some trees, having gone about ten miles. 
At this place begins a large island in the Nile, 
several miles long, full of villages, trees and corn ; 
it is called Kurgos. Opposite to this is the 
mountain Gibbainy, where is the first scene of 
ruins I have met with since that of Axum in 
Abyssinia. We saw here heaps of broken 
pedestals, like those of Axum, all plainly 
designed for the statues of the dog ; some pieces 
of obelisk, likewise with hieroglyphics, almost 
totally obliterated. The Arabs told us these 
ruins were very extensive ; and that many pieces 
of statues, both of men and animals, had been 
dug up there. The statues of the men were 
mostly of black stone. It is impossible to avoid 
risking a guess that this is the ancient city 

Bruce was a traveller of the gentleman- 

1 Travels, ed. 1813, vol. vi., p. 453. 

adventurer type and an amateur diplomatist, 
far more interested in the natives and in the 
writing of an amusing and witty story of strange 
things than in antiquarian research. A few days 
previously he had passed by Wad Ban Naga 
where ancient temples were prominent features 
of the landscape some decades later ; but he saw 
nothing of them, and dates from Wad Ban Naga 
a disquisition on the virtues of the native breed 
of horses. His account of the site of Meroe is 
characteristic. He considerably under-estimates 
the distance between Shendi and Meroe ; he 
apparently did not trouble to visit the Pyramids 
which must have been visible ; and though 
hazarding the guess that this site was really 
Meroe, he devotes some pages elsewhere to 
proving that Meroe was farther south. 

Burckhardt, the next great European traveller 
to visit this region, was a man of very different 
temper, one whose sole object was the most exact 
observation and record of things past and present. 
He travelled from Darner to Shendi in April 1814 
in the disguise of an Egyptian merchant. On 
April 17th 2 he noted "between Djebail and 
Dawa " some low mounds of rubbish and red burnt 
bricks and " foundations of buildings of moderate 
size constructed of hewn stones." " A close 
examination," he adds, " might, perhaps, have 
led to some interesting discoveries, but I was in 
the company of the caravan, and had the wonders 
of Thebes been placed on the road, I should not 
have been able to examine them." On his return 

* Travels in Nubia, 1819, p. 275. 

B 2 


from Shendi he saw on May 18th, 1 near a village 
called Hassa, remains of ancient buildings close 
to the river, stone foundations of houses, and 
some brick walls. " I saw no remains of any 
town wall nor of anything like a large edifice ; 
the whole of what I observed seemed to have 
belonged to a small open city." At Kabushia 
Burckhardt left the river and so missed for 
the second time the chance of seeing the 
Pyramids of Meroe. Burckhardt was a stu- 
dent of infinite patience and unrivalled 
accuracy, but it may be questioned whether 
with the small opportunities of research that lay 
open to him he would have found much that 
escaped the eyes of the third pioneer — Frederic 

Cailliaud, who must be considered the true 
father of archaeological enquiry in the Sudan, 
was born at Nantes in 1787. After studying 
geology and mineralogy in Paris, he found his 
way to Egypt in 1815 and entered the service of 
Mohammed Ali, who sent him on various journeys 
to the Red Sea and the Oases in the western 
desert. In 1820 he obtained the Pasha's leave 
to accompany the expedition led by Ismail into 
the Sudan, and his discoveries were made in the 
train of the victorious Egyptian army. After 
the war was over he returned to France, published 
his Voyage a Meroe in 1826, and settled in his 
native town as Keeper of the Museum ; there he 
died at a good old age in 1869, his end being a 
curious contrast to the tragical deaths of his two 

Cailliaud reached the province of Berber with 
the army in April 1821, and, having heard here 
of the existence of pyramids to the south, begged 
leave of the Pasha to be allowed to explore the 
country, but for some time in vain. At last it 
was only by representing that they were in the 
latitude where precious stones were to be found, 
and that his search for ancient ruins would be 
combined with a close examination of the nature 

1 Travels in Nubia, 1819, p. 362. 

of the rocks and soil which might conceal 
diamonds or gold, that he obtained permission to 
start forth, accompanied by a young Frenchman 
named Letorzec, who assisted him in taking 
astronomical observations. He played upon the 
natives' greed for buried gold with the same 
adroitness that he had played upon the Pasha's 
greed for jewels, and so well did he use the 
opportunities won by his astuteness and per- 
tinacity that for more than eighty years explora- 
tion in the Island of Meroe was confined to the 
sites which he first discovered. He spent over a 
fortnight at Meroe itself, planning the town site 
and measuring and drawing the pyramids. 
Thence he went south with the army, which he 
rejoined at Shendi : he visited Soba, where he 
found the ram which is now in Khartoum, and, 
after noting two other ancient sites, spent the 
following winter in the upper reaches of the Blue 
Nile. On his homeward journey he visited and 
recorded the ruins at Wad Ben Naga in March 
1822, and then started alone into the desert from 
Shendi, 2 leaving Letorzec behind. At Nagaa he 
found and drew the ruins of several temples, 
and climbed to the quarries on the hills above 
them : next he discovered the beautiful ruins 
of Musawwarat, a great palace lying in the 
basin-like valley ; and lastly, on the way back 
to Shendi, a small temple in the Wadi el 
Banat. North of Shendi he came upon the 
site at Hassa already seen by Burckhardt, and 
found here the remains of a ram. Furthermore, 
he obtained reports of other ruins in the interior 
to which we shall return later ; and, finally, he 
wrote a narrative describing his journey and 
discoveries which is both sane and entertaining : 
the town site near the pyramids he identified 
with ancient Meroe because it was obviously the 
greatest city in the whole region, and its position 
agreed with the distances in the best of the 
classical writers, and neither for these ruins nor 
for the others which he found does he advance 

2 Linant had visited these sites just before him. 


any claims to a fabulous antiquity. ' Surely such 
a record entitles Cailliaud to a permanent place 
among the very greatest pioneers of archaeo- 
logical research. 

The country was now in the hands of the 
Egyptian Government, and during the next 
twenty years these sites were revisited by 
several travellers. One of these, Hoskins, pub- 
lished drawings and descriptions of Meroe and 
Musawwarat, but could not persuade his party to 
advance to Nagaa because there were lions there- 
abouts. Another, Ferlini, 1 had begun the 
destruction of ancient monuments in the search 
for loot ; and Heeren had published his great 
work on The African Nations with wondrous 
theories of the remote antiquity of civilization 
in these parts, theories for which Cailliaud's 
judicious reservations offer no justification what- 
soever. The next scientific mission therefore 
arrived none too soon. 

Richard Lepsius, the leader of the expedition, 
was a learned German who had devoted himself 
to the infant science of Egyptology, and was 
appointed director of a mission to Egypt, 
Ethiopia, and Sinai, equipped and maintained 
for more than three years by King Frederick 
William IV. of Prussia. The sites which 
Cailliaud had discovered, sketched, and planned 
single-handed, Lepsius revisited in 1844 with 
an engineer, three draughtsmen and painters, 
a moulder, and a Counsellor of Legation. 
Naturally his plans and drawings, though neither 
exhaustive nor according to modern criterions 
sufficiently faithful, are far more complete and 
accurate than those of Cailliaud ; but the expe- 
dition did not discover a single new site in the 
Island of Meroe, or even verify the sites reported 
but not visited by Cailliaud. Lepsius, in fact, 
was a learned man and a sound critic, but not a 

1 See Budge, The Egyptian Sudan, London, 1907, vol. i., 
pp. 285 foil. 

great discoverer as far as field-work goes. In 
the pioneer stage discoveries can only be made 
in a country like the Sudan with the help of the 
natives : shepherds who have grazed their flocks 
there, year in year out, have a rare knowledge 
of the face of the desert, but it is almost sub- 
conscious and hard to extract even when they 
are neither shy nor suspicious. Lepsius carried 
as his only credentials the recommendations or 
orders of a Government which was not popular, 
against which in fact rebellions were rising in 
several parts of the country, and although a 
great philologist, he was not well found in the 
vernacular ; otherwise the people would have 
shown him at least one of the sites which I shall 
describe, and told him more of their traditions. 

Lepsius published his Plates in the middle of 
the last century, and his Letters from Egypt, 
Ethiopia and Sinai appeared in 1852 and were 
translated into English in the following year ; 
the text which should have accompanied the 
Plates was never written, but the illustrations 
proved, as he noted in the Letters? that these 
southern monuments were " not previous to the 
first century before the birth of Christ." " It 
will," he continues, " in future be a fruitless task 
to endeavour to support the favourite supposition 
of an ancient, brilliant, and renowned Meroe, 
whose inhabitants were at one time the pre- 
decessors and the instructors of the Egyptians in 
civilization, by the demonstration of monumental 
remains from that old period." This statement 
has often been ignored, but it has never been 
disproved, and with the expedition of Lepsius the 
history of antiquarian research in the Sudan 
during the last century closes. At the time of 
the reconquest of the Sudan our knowledge of 
the ancient civilization of Meroe was no wider 
than it had been in the days of Cailliaud and 

2 English edition, London, 1853, p. 152. 



Sect. 1. Meroe and the Riverlands. 2 

The most impressive ruins of ancient Meroe lie 
between two hamlets belonging to the village of 
Begarawia. The hamlets are now called Kageik 
(<-aUa<JI) and Daragab (t_>U;jJI), 3 but the remains 
of a great wall upon the river front has won 
for this site the name of El Sur, from which 
comes the name Assour or even Hachour (!) 
in our authorities from Cailliaud downwards. 
This wall is only the centre of a very wide 
field of ruins ; immediately behind it are traces 
of one or two temple buildings, one of which 
was originally approached by an avenue of 
rams, but though there are some carved stone 
slabs still visible, most of the ancient buildings 
seem to have been made of red brick. Many old 
bricks have been carried off to build the adjoining- 
hamlets, but there is a vast quantity still left 
lying in profusion everywhere. In its present 
condition the site exercises a curious charm : 
from the main ruin heaps we pass to a hamlet 
of huts built of grass or of old bricks, set in the 
spacious way of the Sudan round about wells 
which are never quite deserted, and thence to 
other mounds, and from these to a glade of 

1 Most of the localities mentioned in this chapter are 
shown in the map on Plate I. 

2 This section was written almost in its present form 
several months before any excavations had been made at 
Meroe. As I have had no opportunity of revisiting the 
site since or seeing the objects newly found there, I have 
thought it better to leave my text unchanged : readers 
must therefore remember that it is a description of Meroe 
as it appeared between the years 1903 and 1908, and not of 
Meroe as it is now. 

3 Daragab is the name of the tribe to which the " epony- 
mous hero " of Abu Deleig belonged. 

bright green acacia trees with fragrant yellow 
ball blossoms, where we see red bricks again 
scattered between the trees. Some of the highest 
mounds are near another hamlet called Hamadab, 
and were cut through when the railway line was 
made, but nothing of interest was found, and the 
old plans of the early discoverers show much 
more of the disposition of the ancient buildings 
than can be seen in a superficial visit to-day. 

The feature of the site which strikes one first 
is its enormous size : Meroe was evidently one 
of those prodigious cities which African culture 
has always favoured, although at Meroe as at 
Memphis the whole ruin-area may never have 
been occupied at a single period. Two miles 
away to the east are the famous groups of 
Pyramids clustering round an outlying tongue of 
the hills, but the whole plain between the city 
and the ridge is covered with relics of ancient 
burials. Away to the north again towards 
Gebel Omali is an old site which may be re- 
garded as a suburb of the capital, and to the 
south is the line of an old canal and traces of 
other suburbs. But until excavations have been 
made it would be rash to enter into further 
detail : it seems to me premature, for example, 
to declare that the great wall is the girdle wall 
of the Temple of Ammon, and not a wall of 
defence protecting the royal palace as well as 
the chief temples and other buildings. 

We can, however, speak with more confidence 
about a topic of no less importance, the reason, 
namely, which led to the choice of this site above 
all others as the centre of the ancient realm of 
Meroe. In medieval days the country round 
Kabushia (the railway station just south of 
Meroe) was known as the Dar el Abwab, the 


Land of Doors, and the name is still heard 
sometimes in the Baiuda desert. Whatever be 
the origin of the name, 1 no one can question the 
appropriateness of its application to a great 
meeting-point of many roads, for beside the 
river ways to the north and south there are 
three great routes radiating from Meroe. On 
the west bank there is a road leading west to 
Napata, passing half-way the old fort in the 
Wadi el Furaa, and running between the two 
routes used most commonly nowadays, which 
start respectively from Berber and Shendi. On 
the east bank of the river there is an old caravan 
route, which starts from Kabushia and, leaving 
the Pyramid hills on the left, runs a little north 
of east to the Atbara and so on to the Red Sea 
ports : this was the road taken by the caravan 
which Burckhardt accompanied in 1814. A 
third road, which we shall describe in part here- 
after, leads somewhat east of south to the rich 
cultivations in Basa and the Hawad, and thence 
to Abu Deleig, Gebel Geili, and the south ; in 
fact, Kabushia, and not Shendi, is still the 
natural river port for many of the Arabs who 
live about Abu Deleig in the centre of the Island 
of Meroe. The third of these roads was, in my 
opinion, the most important in its bearing upon 
the site of the capital ; from other places to the 
north, Berber or Darner for example, communica- 
tions could have been established as easily with 
Napata and the Red Sea ports, but no spot 
combines these advantages with the command 
of the greatest artery of the interior as does the 
site of Meroe. The two other roads which I 
have named are rather the corollaries of this : 
indeed the existence of the caravan route from 
Kabushia to the Atbara down to the last century 
can only be described as a striking instance of 
the survival of the magnetic power in an extinct 
capital, and the third road by the Wadi el Furaa 
is little used to-day. In other words, political 

1 One learned native told me it was derived from a king 
called Abwab ! 

and commercial considerations required a site in 
easy access of the civilized states lower down the 
Nile valley and on the Red Sea, but these were 
not the primary considerations which led to the 
choice of the site of the capital. Traffic in slaves 
and ivory and ebony and gold and gums and 
feathers brought added wealth to the rulers of 
Meroe ; but the true basis of their prosperity 
was agricultural and pastoral, and therefore they 
chose for their capital, not a site like Berber or 
Atbara in command of the shortest routes to the 
principal markets of the world, but a place 
itself situated on a spot of great fertility and 
leading directly to the fat valleys of the interior. 

Meroe is not to be regarded merely as a huge 
emporium for the exchange of goods between 
three continents, but first and foremost as the 
capital of a rich agricultural state, and one only, 
though the greatest, of a number of towns which 
rose upon the banks of the middle reaches of the 

Changes in the bed of the river have obliterated 
all trace of many of these, but enough remains 
to show that there was once an unbroken chain 
of villages and towns. Nowadays the people live 
in mud houses or round grass huts ; in old times 
they used to build their houses of red bricks, 
and the outward sign of an old site, as the 
villagers well know, is a group of low mounds 
covered with broken bricks and potsherds and 
generally marked by modern tombs and older 
tumuli. The different fabrics of pottery found 
in these places suggest that they do not all 
belong to the same period ; red bricks and 
wheel-made pots may have been used far down 
into the Middle Ages, but even when the surface 
indications point to a Christian population it 
would be presumptuous to say that the Christian 
dwellers were not living on the site of an earlier 
occupation. The lines of old canals which some 
travellers have mentioned are less easy to trace 
and impossible to date, but canals must have 

The greatest of these southern sites known to 


me and not already described by others is situated 
near the rich Hassa lands about nine miles north 
of Berber ; 1 it is called Dungeil, a local word 
meaning red bricks, and consequently commonly 
applied to old sites, 2 and the pundits of the 
district say that it is the Mother of Berber and 
was founded by King Botlus (Ptolemy). During 
the time of the old Government one of the 
Egyptian officers at Berber dug over the site in 
search of spoil, and small scarabs are frequently 
found there ; and I heard that in the Dervish 
time a man found a piece of gazelle hide covered 
with strange letters, which, alas, in fear of the 
Khalifa he threw into the river : it was, no 
doubt, a document like those sometimes found 
in Lower Nubia. 3 On the east side of this site 
there are the remains of a great oblong camp 
with the usual mounds and pottery and plaster ; 
and in the village itself I have seen under the 
present ground-level a column and bases of 
sandstone ; but the only find of importance was 
a granite block bearing a cursive inscription, 
which was being used by the women to beat 
their clothes on at the time of my visit : I 
removed it to Khartoum. 4 

Between this and the Atbara there is a site at 
Mikhailab, the name of which is interesting as 
the sole example known (to me) of a Christian 
name combined with the local suffix, and another 
at Darmali, and a third at Atbara itself, which is 
probably the " town of masonry " referred to on 
the inscription of Aizana. 

About midway between Meroe and Atbara 
there is another curious name-survival in the 
village of Kabushab, to which my attention was 

1 See Cailliaud, vol. iii., p. 179. 

2 The word Marug, sometimes Mahrug, is similarly a 
local term for the Egyptian Sebakh, and is also, to the 
great confusion of fanciful etymologists, applied to old 
ruins; for example, Cailliaud, vol. ii., p. 150; Lepsius, 
Letters, p. 209. 

3 See Krall, Beitrage zur GescMchte der Blemyer und 
Nutter, 1898, p. 2. 

4 [See Meroitic Inscriptions, No. 74.] 

first drawn by Mr. Neville ; one of the hamlets 
in this village is still known as Hillet Gandeis 
(^j^jjoi), and the learned ones of the village told 
us that Gandeis was a name of a former king of 
the Anag, and that on the right bank of the 
river was a hamlet named Elleis, presumably a 
corruption of Elias, after another king. 

Again, a little north of Khartoum is an ancient 
site first reported to me by Colonel Asser, near 
the station of Kadaru ; this is of special interest 
because " Kedrou " or Kadaru is the name of the 
seat of one of the thirteen princes of the Sudan 
to whom embassies were sent from Egypt at the 
close of the thirteenth century, when the great 
southern kingdom of Aloa had apparently fallen 
to pieces. 5 Another of these principalities was 
the Dar el Abwab, a third was the Anag, and 
others which can be identified were Kersah or 
the southern Gezira, and Taka or Kasala. 

But traces of ancient occupation have been 
found far south of this ; for example, on the 
White Nile at Geteina by Captain McEwan, on 
the Blue Nile at Rodos by Cailliaud, at Alti, 
Kasemba (near Kamlin), Bronko, and Hassa Hissa 
by myself, at Goz Bakhit by Mr. Currie, at 
Rufaa by Mr. Sayce, and at Wad Haddad by 
Mr. Sharp. 

The rains are much heavier in these southern 
regions than farther north, and ancient sites are 
therefore likely to have suffered much more, and 
in places to have been washed away altogether ; 
but it seems probable that the region was at one 
time as thickly occupied as the province of 
Dongola, where old sites are almost as common 
as modern villages. Special considerations, how- 
ever, determined me to devote such leisure as I 
could obtain from my other duties to the further 
exploration of the " desert." I had neither the 
time nor the means to make regular excavations, 
and very limited space in which to store such 
objects as might be found, as the development 

5 Quatremere, Memoires geographiques et historiques sur 
VEgypte, Paris, 1811, vol. ii., p. 101. 


of the country entailed many calls upon the 
Treasury far more urgent than the provision of 
a Museum. On the other hand, I was obliged 
to be continually travelling about the country, 
and my official work brought me into friendly 
relations with all the most intelligent natives, so 
that I was able to use good sources of informa- 
tion, and also ready at any time to follow up 
likely clues. It seemed to me, therefore, that I 
should be better serving the interests both of 
the Sudan Government and research, if I turned 
my attention specially to the interior, and left 
the excavation of the river sites to those more 
competent and leisured than myself. 

Sect. 2. The Inner Lands. 

There is no great difference between the Nile- 
lands of Meroe and the Nile-lands of Egypt. It 
is not until one leaves the river and turns inland 
that the change of latitude begins to be felt. 
In Egypt the desert has ever been regarded as 
a negative element, hostile and refractory to 
culture ; it was visited only for mines and 
quarries, and a few remote oases did but throw 
into stronger relief the inhospitable barrenness 
of the rest. In the south it is quite different ; 
the desert is no longer a region to be swiftly 
crossed, a place for the tracing of the straightest 
routes, and where ancient buildings must mark 
frontiers or stations upon roads. It is an 
area with a real economic value hardly less 
precious to the people than the valley of the 

This difference is most palpable in the southern- 
most " Gezira," the " Island " between the Blue 
and the White Niles. A glance at any recent 
map shows an inland region as thickly dotted 
with villages as the river-banks, and a sight of 
the villages proves that we have reached the 
latitude of the summer rains. These villages 
are formed of grass huts with pointed roofs to 
carry off the rain, and they stand on wide plains 
of black alluvial soil covered by green crops 

during the autumn, and strewn for the rest of 
the year with wisps of straw from the wide- 
planted roots of the last sowing. This was the 
fertile region where medieval Arabs, accustomed 
to the laborious irrigation of Egypt, believed 
that the crops were sown and watered and 
gathered by the hands of Ginn. 1 

In the Island of Meroe, on the right (northern) 
bank of the Blue Nile, the conditions are more 
variable ; we are only upon the outskirts of the 
tropical monsoons, the rain falls more capri- 
ciously, and the soil upon which it falls is not of 
one kind or origin. According to the people, 
the country is divided into butana and keraba. 
The butana is the land of the sagla or 
watering, the mouse-coloured cotton soil which 
drinks in enough of the summer rains to bring 
to the ripening a yearly crop of grain ; the 
keraba is the stony or gravelly country off 
which the water flows either to the butana or 
to the rivers. Both are found side by side, but 
in the north-west the stony land predominates, 
and in the south and east the land is more like 
the southern Gezira. On the western half of the 
Island the Nile is bordered by a sandstone belt, 
and it is in this belt, where easily worked stone 
was close to hand, that most of the antiquities 
are found. Behind this belt a great plateau 
begins ascending slowly towards the Abyssinian 
highlands, a monotonous expanse of undulating 
prairie, covered during most of the year with 
yellow grass. The commonest trees are round 
thorny kittr bushes, and these are found only 
in valleys, which often are hardly perceptible 
depressions. In the north the grasses, which are 
of many kinds, rarely rise more than a foot or 
two in height, but in the south they are taller 
than a camel. The outline of the plain is broken 
only by a few scattered bergs and ridges (galaat) 
of crystalline rock which the ancient sculptors 
did not care to work. 

The landscape of the western sandstone belt 

1 QlJATREMERE, op. Clt., pp. 24, 25. 



is much more varied and pleasing. The pre- 
dominant note is a greyish green given by the 
minute multiplex leaves of the camel thorn and 
other stunted trees, but it is modulated from 
month to month. The one constant feature is 
the black shingle which overlies the sandstone 
watersheds ; elsewhere the colours are continually 
changing. After the summer rains all the trees 
put on a fresher green, and convolvulus-like 
flowerets cover the spaces between the tussocks 
of grass. As the year grows older the flowerets 
die and the smaller grasses turn to the colour 
of the palest yellow silk ; the freshness goes 
away from the trees and their long white 
thorns become more apparent ; the bright 
emerald greens last only where colocynths and 
sennemekka and a few other low-growing plants 
are found. The landscape at Musawwarat, for 
example, in the winter months reminds one of an 
old water-colour which has been exposed to the 
sun until the blues and the greens have faded 
into neutral tints. Nothing here recalls the full- 
bodied colours of the Egyptian landscape or of 
the farther south, still less the misty distances of 
an English scene, and yet the final impression is 
very pleasing ; the fawn-coloured gazelles and 
the grey-coated wild asses are the fitting 
inhabitants of this region, though one sees 
little of them when the people are sowing and 

Perennial streams there are none ; in fact, the 
Atbara and the Rahad, which bound the Island 
on two sides, both sink into a chain of pools 
before the descent of the summer flood, and even 
the Blue Nile is for months unnavigable by 
large craft. For water the people depend on 
wells and reservoirs. In the granite hills there 
are frequently natural clefts in the rock called 
(julut (sing, r/alta), which store water for a long 
time ; at Gebel Dimiat on the road to Kasala I 
found water as late as April (in 1908) in a 
galta which had been slightly built up. But 
the commonest type of reservoir is a pond 
(Arabic, liafir) dug out in some natural drainage 

basin. 1 Tanks of this kind are still dug both in 
the southern Gezira and in the Island of Meroe ; 
but the modern works are very feeble by com- 
parison with the ancient ones, and they rarely 
retain water for more than a month or two. 
Wells, therefore, form the sole source over most 
of the Island for the greater part of the year. 
These are few and generally very deep, some 
measure over 300 feet in depth, and the drawers 
of water hold wads of frayed cord in their hands 
as they lower the buckets, to keep their palms 
from being cut and burned by the swiftly 
slipping ropes ; as it is, their hands grow almost 
as horny and knotted as their feet. A well 
which is less than 150 feet deep is quite 
exceptional. During the rainy season, when the 
people from the river-banks are looking after 
the cultivation of the interior, they cover the 
wells and drink only from the reservoirs, which 
both saves themselves trouble and protects the 
wells from being silted up. 

At the time of the reconquest there were no 
permanent villages in the northern half of the 
country, but the conditions were abnormal, and 
even alongside the rivers villages were few. 
There is always grazing, however, and conse- 
quently throughout the year a considerable 
nomad population of " Arab " herdsmen, while 
during the autumn months, unless the rains have 
failed altogether, the interior is actually more 
populous than the riverside. Before the rains 
the villagers from the Nile and the Blue Nile go 
out, where necessary, to repair the little banks 
(turus) which train the waters, and after the 
rains they live in temporary huts upon their 
basins and sow and reap before they return to 
the river. The value of these rain crops, gained 
with so little trouble, can hardly be exaggerated. 2 
The grain thus garnered is threshed on the spot 

1 A combined liafir and galta is shown in Plate II. fig. 2. 

2 In 1907, in the Berber province only, which does not 
contain more than a third of the ancient Island, tithes 
were paid on about 150,000 ardebsof dura, valued at about 
£60,000, grown on the desert valleys. 



and stored in pits (matmura, matamir), which 
are usually near a village ; in these pits it keeps 
good for years and remains edible though sour 
long after it is useless for so win g. These 
simple granaries therefore enable the people to 
tide over a succession of lean years. 

Such, then, is in brief the manner of life of the 
few thousands who now live in the Island of 
Meroe. For four or five months they are 
scattered far and wide ; the total area cultivable 
is so immense and they so few, that they can 
afford to select only the best portions. For the 
rest of the year the nomads gather with their 
flocks near the wells, and the others return to 
their villages by the rivers. And such, I submit, 
must have been also the manner of life in ancient 
days, for it is clearly prescribed by the laws of 
land and latitude, and proved, as the sequel will 
show, by the actual relics of the past. The 
dispensation of this country is, it seems to me, 
like that described by the Psalmist, who, after 
singing of " the river of God which is full of 
water," and the cultivation beside it, describes in 
this wise the other blessings of a year crowned 
with goodness when the clouds drop fatness : 
" They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness ; 
and the little hills rejoice on every side. The 
pastures are clothed with flocks, the valleys also 
are covered over with corn ; they shout for joy, 
they also sing." l In northern lands we are 
accustomed to see the corn growing upon the 
uplands, and water meadows below used for 
pasturage ; in the rainlands of Meroe, as in the 
country of the Psalmist, the conditions are exactly 

To give a portrait of a typical figure of these 
inner lands I will in conclusion venture to trans- 
late the story told me by my guide Ibrahim of 
the richest man he knew : whether it be true or 
not in every detail matters very little. I have 
spoken of the agricultural wealth of the country ; 
this man's portrait may serve as a pendant to 

1 Psalui lxv. 12, 13. 

illustrate the pastoral wealth. Hasib Rabu is 
his name, and he lives at Gebel Rera, and is 
reckoned the first of his tribe in riches and 
generosity. He has a thousand she-camels of 
the purest breed, any one of which will give 
enough milk to fill a waterskin. His flocks of 
sheep are so numerous that they must be kept 
round many distant wells, and he has fifteen 
horses which have never drunk water, but live 
only on the milk of camels. His hospitality is 
famous, and once when Ibrahim went to sell him 
a camel of great price, Hasib Rabu set apart 
eleven sheep of the fattest, and bade Ibrahim 
and one or two other strangers who had arrived 
with him, kill and eat as they had need. So well 
did Ibrahim fare, that the business of selling the 
camel kept him there for more than seven days. 
A man of noble lineage and great ancestral 
wealth, do you think ? Not at all, he began life as 
the steward of a rich Arab named Wad Baashum, 
who died leaving as heirs two sons of tender age. 
It was not difficult for the steward to transfer 
to his own name the best of the herds in his 
charge ; and a little later, being a " clever man 
with many thoughts," he wished to marry his 
two daughters to the sons of his old master. 
But they, being good men, hated the proposal, 
and, having other flocks in the keeping of more 
honest stewards, went to another place. Since 
then, Hasib Rabu has turned to the service of 
religion. Every year he sends two camels and 
180 lbs. of semn (ghi) to the Head of his 
Religious Order, and when this man's envoy 
demanded special offerings of forty camels apiece 
from the Shukria and the Zebedia, Hasib Rabu 
took from his own herds twenty -four of the best, 
and left sixteen only for the remainder of his 
tribe to collect. 

Sect. 3. Basa. 

All the villagers who live about Meroe know 
at least by report of the ruins of Basa, and I 
first heard mention of the in from the Sheikh of 

c 2 



Begarawia in December 1904. Like most ancient 
remains in this part of the country, they are con- 
nected in the popular fancy with the medieval 
Anag. The Sheikh told me that there was here 
a great enclosure and also a palace with an 
entrance and large black stones carved to 
represent horses or lions or rams. The site of 
these ruins lay midway between two hills called 
Giren Basa and Giren Laot, and marked an 
ancient racecourse of the Anag. Every month, 
said the Sheikh, two of the Anag used to run 
from hill to hill and cross each other by the 
ruins, and he who failed to accomplish the 
distance in an hour was fined by the judges. 
I was unable to verify the existence of these 
ruins until March 1906, but have since revisited 
them three or four times by various routes. 

There is one road with many tracks running- 
north and south which skirts the lower slopes of 
the ridge on which the Pyramids stand : this 
road leads to Abu Deleig right through the 
great valley of the Hawad, and anyone staying 
at Meroe or by the Pyramids will find this the 
straightest way to Basa. Before it reaches the 
valley the road runs for four or five miles over 
broken uplands ; in the grassy hollows the tracks 
are clearly defined, on the gravelly patches be- 
tween the course is marked by heaps of stones 
and occasional graves. To the eye these last 
look like the tombs of good Muslims who have 
died by the wayside ; but, after some hesitation, 
my guide assured me that here (as in some 
graves seen by Lepsius, 1 ) no one is really buried, 
but they were not made out of hatred, like those 
mentioned by Lepsius. When a donkey stumbles 
and the rider knows that it is the work of a devil, 
it is the rider's duty to trace out a grave as a 
warning to others that the place is haunted ; 
they are danger-signals, in fact, to all who ride 
donkeys, for camel-riders are out of reach of the 
devils, which lie close to the earth. If my guide 
was speaking the truth at all, the origin of the 

1 Lepsius, Letters, p. 216 (English edition). 

grave, I should suggest, is to be found in the 
wish to exorcise the evil spirits or provide them 
with a permanent abode. The valley of the 
Hawad, where this road joins it, is full of trees 
and grass, and the grazing belongs to the Fadnia 

The road to Basa from Kabushia runs south 
of this and does not strike the Hawad proper so 
soon. The most interesting route goes over 
stony soil to the " Hosh el Kafer," about a mile 
and a half from the railway station. This name, 
" The Infidel's Courtyard," refers to a group of 
ruins on the north bank of Khor Aulib, the 
valley which receives the summer waters of the 
Hawad tributaries. There is a huge reservoir 
here, some 260 paces in diameter ; the banks 
have been strengthened in places with regular 
masonry, though they are chiefly formed of the 
gravel dug out from the interior, and there are 
traces of a small building on the east side. 
Nearly a quarter of a mile to the north is a big 
mound on which the lines of walls can be clearly 
traced, and round it are the smaller mounds of 
five or six subsidiary buildings with remains of 
several columns and carved blocks decorated in 
the same style of workmanship as the Pyramids 
of Meroe. 2 Upon another mound, once occupied 
by buildings of uncut stone, some fragments of 
very delicate pottery were found of the same 
fabric as fragments found at Musawwarat and 
elsewhere. The remains look like the ruins of 
a small palace similar to that at the last-named 
site ; the great reservoir, even when deepened, 
can hardly have held water for more than a few 
months, and was probably used only for watering 
cattle, the river being close enough to supply 
the wants of the inhabitants of the palace or 
temple. This site, as is usually the case, has 
been used as a burial-place at some recent 
period, and in still more modern days Arabs 
have dug pits for storing grain here. On the 
opposite bank of the same valley is a small site 

2 PI. III. fig. 5. 



covered with red brick belonging perhaps to a 
later period. 

The road to Basa crosses the bed of Khor 
Aulib and makes for a break in a range of sand- 
stone hills, called Wad Fahal after a mighty king 
of the Jaalin who reigned in the 18th century. 
His power was so great, said my guide, that in 
his day even the wild beasts did not dare to 
prey upon the flocks ; he is probably the man 
whose mother Bruce visited at Shendi, 1 he being 
at the time of Bruce's visit absent in the Hawad, 
the very region we are approaching. The hills 
are about three miles from Hosh el Kafer, and 
the road passes a small basin called Umm Basal, 
which is sometimes cultivated, and close to the 
hills a group of tumuli built of black sandstone, 
one of them surrounded with a circle. 

After passing the col we cross two broad 
valleys, both of which drain into the Hawad, 
and, after travelling some five miles, come to a 
reddish ridge covered with flints and tumuli. 
The ridge is called El Galaa el Homra, and the 
tombs were said by the guide to be the memorial 
of an unusually bloody raid made before the time 
of Wad Fahal, which had otherwise, like most 
of the frays between Arabs, been long forgotten. 
The Kawahla, a nomad tribe who still own wells 
in the region, descended upon the Jaalin vil- 
lages by the river when the men were away, 
and drove off the beasts which worked the 
waterwheels. When the men returned, they 
pursued the raiders and caught them resting at 
this spot ; in the fight fifty of the raiders and 
thirty of the Jaalin were killed, and these are 
their tombs. From this spot a good view can 
be obtained of Giren Laot, a conical hill on the 
west of the Hawad, and Giren Basa, a larger hill 
of the same shape far away to the east. The 
word Giren means a little horn, and is appro- 
priately given to these two conical protuberances 

1 Bruce, ed. 1813, vol. vi., p. 147. The date of Bruce's 
visit was the 12th October (1772), just the season when 
the people would naturally be in the inland districts. 

which shoot up just like the young horns of 
calves or gazelles pressing through the hair above 
the mask. This point is reckoned two-thirds of 
the distance to the ruins of Basa ; and the road 
here quits the ridge, leaving some cultivation 
near Giren Laot on the right, and descends into 
the valley, joining the other road from Meroe at 
a spot near some stones called the Prophet's 
Footprints (Khatwat el Nebi). 

The valley of the Hawad is very broad and 
full of grey-green trees and tussocks of grass 
here as in its lower reaches. 2 In the autumn, 
when there is a perpetual coming and going of 
people on their way to the cultivation in the 
upper parts of the Hawad, at Basa and else- 
where, and when there is water in the reservoirs 
and water-holes sunk in the river-bed, the valley 
is always full of flocks and herds, and the huts 
of their owners are found scattered about, and 
there is little or no game ; in the spring most of 
the water-holes are dry, only the flocks and cattle 
of the Fadnia remain, and gazelle and ariel 
return from the inner parts. 

Basa lies on the far side (east bank) of the 
Hawad in a water-system of its own, separated 
from the larger valley by a low gravelly ridge 
four or five miles from El Galaa el Homra. 3 The 
trees are continuous, and the ruins are not like 
those at Nagaa and Musawwarat a prominent 
landmark for miles around. There are no high 
buildings here, and it would be quite possible to 
pass very close to the ruins without seeing any- 
thing. 4 They lie on more or less level ground 
between the tombs of two local saints, called 
Fikih Bafadni and Fikih Awadullah. Nothing 
is known of these worthies, but the name of the 
former would indicate the eponymous hero of 
the Fadnia tribe ; their tombs are mere mounds, 

2 Cf. PI. II. figs. 3, 4. 

3 The exact position of Basa Reservoir has been fixed 
by Mr. Carson of the Sudan Survey Department as 
Lat. 16° 42' N., Long. 33° 53' E., 28 kilometres from 
Kabushia Station. 

4 See PL III. 



resting doubtless on the debris of older tombs or 
dwellings, and they are now used as sanctuaries. 
i\_rabs deposit with perfect confidence the panels 
of donkey-saddles, camel-saddles, tent-poles, old 
pots and pans and other miscellaneous properties 
of the desert, on the mound, in the keeping of 
the departed saint. The water-holes lie close to 
the tomb of Fikih Bafadni, and the cultivation 
is some way farther to the east of the other 
tomb, in an enormous basin called Moiat Basa, 
Here Mr. Drummond and I saw, in the middle of 
November in 1907, a sheet of water still standing, 
which we estimated to be about two miles long ; 
as the water dried, the people planted nearer and 
nearer to the centre of the basin, and the lake 
was consequently fringed by green dura gradu- 
ally rising higher and higher the farther it was 
from the standing water. This great basin gives 
as clear an explanation for the existence of the 
ruins as does the valley of Auateb for the ruins 
of Nagaa. 1 

I visited the ruins, first, alone in March 1906, 
riding on a swift camel in two hours and a half 
from Kabushia, a distance of twenty-eight kilo- 
metres, over which baggage-camels take six or 
seven hours. On my return the same evening 
I was able to report to Professor Steindorff, who 
had been visiting Meroe and the Pyramids with 
me, that the story of the villagers was well 
founded, that there was an ancient reservoir 
with five carved lions round it, and the remains 
of a temple with a portal guarded by more lions, 
and two or three other mounds. I spent another 
day there in the autumn, on my way to other 
sites in the Hawad with Mr. McLean, who made 
a sketch-plan of the reservoir. A third visit was 
made in the spring with Mr. Drummond, on our 
way to the remains at Umm Soda, and in the 
autumn of 1907 Mr. Drummond and I spent 
three or four days here, excavating the temple 

The reservoir lies to the east of the other 

remains (see plan), but north-west of the tomb 
of Fikih Awadullah and of the main cultivation. 
Like most of these tanks, it is irregular in shape, 
but larger and consequently shallower than the 
majority, and measures about 250 metres in 
diameter. The banks are bound by a single 
i course of uncut stones about a metre wide, but 
hardly rise above the level of the interior, so 
much has it silted up. There are vestiges of 
two protected intakes on the north and east 
sides respectively, where the principal flood would 
naturally pour down, and the ground outside the 
tank between these is higher than the rest, being 
formed of the gravel thrown up from the original 
excavation. The interior is now filled with soil 
which must have accumulated to a depth of five 
or six feet, as we proved in our last visit, and is 
covered with trees and grass. Arabs often build 
their temporary huts in the middle of the tank, 
and the water therefore does not stand there 
at all. 

At the time of my first visit there were the 
remains of five large lions in hard grey stone 
on and round the banks of the reservoir : one of 
these lay on the north-east side, midway between 
the two intakes, another lay in the middle of 
the south side, the other three were all on the 
west in the direction of the temple and other 
buildings, and there is every reason to suppose 
that they are all approximately in their original 
positions. Viewed in relation to the rest of the 
site, they present an intelligible scheme of 
decoration. They are all similar in type (sitting 
on their haunches), with minor differences, but 
they are not all complete, and two of them were 
only roughly blocked out. The most perfect we 
found lying on its side, half buried just inside the 
west bank, unbroken and elaborately finished. 2 
It is carved from a single block of stone, and 
measures in height m. 1 ■ 60, and stands on a 
base m. 1* 10 by 50 cm., carved from the same 
block, which rested on two courses of bricks 

1 Liil'sius, Letters from Egypt, Ethiopia, etc., p. 154. 

PI. VI. figs. ( J, 10, 12. 



covered with plaster and supported on no other 
foundation. The lion wears a conventional 
mane-fringe, and beneath it on a flat board-like 
chest two hieroglyphic cartouches, 1 under which 
is a pectoral of seven rows of pendants. The 
lion's mane terminates in a curious knot like an 
inverted fleur-de-lys, and between this knot and 
the ears the sculptor has carved a large scarab 
beetle resting on triple wings. The two lions 
immediately north and south of this have been 
more broken 2 ; both have the same mane-knot 
behind, one has lost the cartouches with the fore- 
legs, but retained the hawk and vulture crests 
surmounting the cartouches, on the other the 
cartouches with their crests remain complete in 
outline, but the signs have been effaced. The 
two remaining lions on the north-east and the 
south sides of the tank were never completed, 
and have suffered much more grievously from 
the weather. 

These five lions were the only objects of 
interest near the reservoir at the time of my 
first visit, but an Arab who built himself a hut 
there in the summer of 1906, came upon another 
carved stone while he was digging out a place 
for a hearth. Curiosity drove him to uncover 
it, and he saw what he thought was a representa- 
tion of a monkey, and buried it again at once 
out of fear. I heard of it in the meanwhile, and 
when we were digging there in the autumn of 
1907, spent some hours looking for it in vain, 
as the Arab in question was away at some 
distant cultivation, and those with me did not 
know the exact spot ; a camel-man whom I sent 
in search of him fortunately met his son at the 
end of a day's journey, and under his guidance 
we set to work again on the last day of our 
stay. The stone proved to be a colossal frog, 3 
measuring from top to toe 72 centimetres, and 
resting on a solid base 80 cm. long by 40 cm. wide, 

1 [See Mcroitic Inscriptions, no. 4G.] 

2 PI. VI. figs. 12, 13. 

'■> Pi. vit. figs, h, in. 

and at least 30 cm. high. As soon as they recog- 
nized it, the Arabs remarked on the fittingness 
of its position in the middle of a water tank, 
and we can hardly be wrong in regarding it as 
a charm to ensure a plentiful rainfall by the 
natural working of sympathetic magic. Small 
frogs in silver and clay are almost as common 
as scarabs, and were the symbol of one of the 
minor Egyptian deities ; but a frog of this size 
and in this attitude is, so far as I know, unique. 4 
Both in position and size it may be compared 
with the colossal scarab found by the sacred 
lake at Karnak. As a piece of sculpture, though 
rough, it is far superior in naturalness and life 
to the conventional lions hard by, and it is a 
matter of great regret to me that I could not 
completely clear it in the time at my disposal. 
The depth of the base beneath the present 
surface of the ground shows that at least five 
or six feet of soil have accumulated on the 
original floor of the tank, and the tank deepened 
to this extent would doubtless in a year of 
normal rainfall have served the needs of 
numerous men and beasts for three or four 

The temple mound lies about three hundred 
and fifty metres to the west of the reservoir, and 
was enclosed by a wall built of undressed stone 
plastered on the inner face. The entrance was 
on the south-east, and guarded by two lions 
which have not yet fallen to the ground 5 ; the 
lion on the right is mauling a captive, who 
kneels between its hindlegs with arms bound 
behind his back 6 ; that on the left is of the 
ordinary seated type. Facing the entrance, 
about fifty yards away, is a third lion of the 
same type ; from the position in which it has 
fallen it is evident that originally this lion was 

4 I have since seen in the Auvergne, on the summit of 
Le Puy de Dome, near the temple of Mercurius Dumias, a 
rude figure of a frog as largo, but in the usual attitude of 
the " scarab frogs." 

5 PI. VII. figs. 16, 17. 

6 PI. VIII. fig. 18. 



looking directly towards the temple gate ; and yet 
another hundred yards away was a fourth lion of 
the same type, and also originally facing the temple 
gate. Both these lions had fallen, and about 
six inches of soil had accumulated round them. 1 

The threshold of the entrance was buried 
beneath a foot of soil, and the enclosure walls 
on each side ended in returning jambs of soft 
dressed sandstone. Column drums of the same 
material were lying round the mound, which 
rose in the centre of the enclosure to a height 
of five feet. The few days which it was possible 
to devote to the excavation of this mound 
enabled us to recover the plan of the temple, 
which is closely akin in type to two of the 
temples at Nagaa, the temples lettered A and G 
on Lepsius's plan. 

The temple of Basa was a small rectangular- 
building with walls faced w T ith red bricks round 
a solid core of mud and stones, and the bricks 
at the four corners of the pylon and at the tw T o 
corners of the temple behind were cut to form 
the little engaged columns which the Ethiopians 
adopted from Egypt. 

The columns surrounding the temple and 
forming the forecourt were of very soft sand- 
stone, which had been heavily plastered and 
doubtless painted, resembling in both these 
features buildings at Meroe, Gebel Barkal, and 
elsewhere. The extreme softness of the 
material has caused the total disappearance of 
the greater part of the shafts, and probably in 
some cases of the bases, though it is difficult to 
say how many should be added. The columns 
in the forecourt were round, with the usual 
square base and broad circular cushion imme- 
diately above it. The only capital found in 
this part of the temple belonged to one of the 
curious corner pillars, and its strange shape is 
due to the heart-shaped pillar which it crowned. 2 
The elongated scallop and rosette which fill the 

1 PI. VIII. figs. 19, 20. 

2 PI. IX. figs. 23, 24. 

interval between its five ribs can hardly be 
much earlier than the third century of our era, 
a date which would, I think, fit the parallel 
temples at Naga'a. 

In the forecourt immediately in front of the 
pylon were the remains of two more lions, in the 
common sitting attitude, of very soft sandstone 
covered with a thick coat of brightly painted 
plaster. Only the bases, the feet, and the rumps 
of these lions remain, but we picked up one 
fragment belonging originally to the chest, 
painted yellow with vermilion curls, similar in 
form to the curls on some of the outer lions. 
Bright red and blue fragments of painted plaster 
from the pylon walls were also found at the 
lowest depth, and with brightly painted columns 
and paint on the enclosure walls the original 
appearance of the temple must have been most 
brilliant. These painted fragments enable us 
furthermore to reconstruct more faithfully in 
imagination the original appearance of other 
Ethiopian sites like Nagaa and Musawwarat. 

The other discoveries made upon the temple 
site raise more problems than we can solve. 
Inside the temple were six columns with cushion 
capitals, which had once divided the sanctuary 
into three aisles, and in the centre of the far 
wall was a broken altar. These internal columns 
stand upon a sort of stylobate of red bricks ; and 
the division of the sanctuary which they make 
is a feature alien to Egyptian traditions, but a 
development as it were of the internal arrange- 
ment of the late temple at Nagaa lettered A by 
Lepsius, who represents also a stylobate, and 
not unlike others there and at Musawwarat, in 
all of which four internal columns occur. Is it 
unreasonable to see here the influence of the 
Roman basilica form, which was to be the proto- 
type of so many Christian churches ? Imme- 
diately in front of the altar an interesting find 
was made, consisting of five small lions of sand- 
stone and seven stone rings with the fragment 
of an eighth, which have all been placed in 
the Khartum Museum. The lions were clearly 



modelled on the larger lions outside ; one of 
them was mauling a captive, like the lion at the 
outer gate, the others in different degrees were 
copies of the sitting type, even down to minute 
details such as the ornaments on the chest and 
the mane-knot. 1 Some of the stone rings were 
of sandstone and round in section, others of 
felsite, diorite, or porphyrite, were flat or bevelled, 
and one of the latter was chipped as though 
from use as a mace-head. 2 Beside them were 
two rude offering- tables also made of sandstone. 
The presence of these little lions close to the 
altar, combined with the remains of eleven larger 
lions on other parts of the site, shows that we 
are confronted with a cult very different from 
anything Egypt can show. We must turn 
again to Nagaa temple A to find the lion holding 
a similar position. 

Just outside the sanctuary, close to the painted 
lions, a marble sundial, 3 now in Khartum, was 
discovered, and a great quantity of minute 
fragments of gold leaf and more or less vitrified 
paste which had probably been used to inlay 
some chest, also an eye of white rock crystal 
with ball of pebble (?), and a fragment of stone 
elaborately engraved and painted green, red and 
yellow, which may represent part of the jewellery 
of a statue. All these objects occurred close to 
the ground-level, and about a foot above this 
were masses of charred dom and heglik logs, 
which threw light on a later chapter in the 
history of the building. After the temple had 
fallen into ruin and an accumulation of ten or 
twelve inches had gathered on the floor, the 
space between the pylon and the columns of the 

1 PI. IX. fig. 25 ; PI. XII. figs. 26, 27. 2 PI. XL 

3 See Mr. Drummond's drawing on PI. X. May 
we regard this as a proof of the solar nature of the 
lion-god? On an inscription of the Roman period from 
Lystra, in Asia Minor, a dial is mentioned as an offering to 
the Sun-god : the god at Gebel Geili (see below) is clearly 
solar. The Oases were famous a little later than this, it 
may be noted, for the manufacture of dials : see Olympio- 
dorus apud Photium, 192 R. 

forecourt nearest to it had been filled with the 
drums of other columns, and a rude shelter thus 
made. The two lions were at the same time 
broken down to the new level, which was no 
difficult matter, seeing the rottenness of the 
sandstone, and the whole space was roofed with 
the logs whose charred remains we found. 
Nothing of interest was to be seen in the three 
or four feet above the charred wood, and this 
second occupation belonged to a period of evident 

The dial 4 is carved out of a block of sub- 
crystalline limestone, so similar in character to 
the stone found south of Abu Ham id that it 
is practically certain that the block comes from 
that district : in any case the material cannot 
have been imported from Egypt. In form, on 
the other hand, the dial from Basa is obviously 
related to two Egyptian dials of the Eoman 
period, one found near Mariut, and now in the 
courtyard of the Museum at Alexandria ; the 
other found at Alexandria, and now in the 
British Museum. Our dial was, like them, 
intended to register the time of a twelve- hour 
day by means of hour lines cut on a conoidal 
surface in the upper part of the block. The 
Basa dial is unfortunately broken, and no 
traces of the missing portion were found : this 
portion measured about one-fifth of the whole 
block and fully one-third of the actual dial 
bowl, the hour divisions which have disappeared 
being the whole of the first and second, part 
of the third and tenth, and the whole of the 
eleventh and twelfth. As in the two Egyptian 
examples, there is a curved line engraved round 
the lower edge of the bowl in which the hour 
lines terminate, and the portion of a line parallel 

4 Through the kindness of Mr. Drummond, I have been 
able to submit the dial to Dr. W. F. Hume and to 
Mr. J. I. Craig of the Egyptian Survey Department. To 
the former I owe the geological description of the stone, to 
the latter I am deeply indebted for many suggestions 
in the account above given ; see an account by him in a 
forthcoming number of the Cairo Scientific Journal. 



with this is just visible at the point where the 
dial is fractured : the lower line probably marks 
the line traced by the shadow cast from the 
point of the gnomon at the summer solstice, 
but whether the second represents the shadow 
cast at the equinoxes or the winter solstice can 
only be determined after further calculations 
have been made : on one of the Egyptian 
examples there are three parallel lines, and on 
the other four. The workmanship of the Basa 
dial cannot claim mathematical accuracy ; but 
the mere facts that there were craftsmen in 
Meroe capable of carving dials, and that a 
demand existed for dials even in the inner 
lands, show how extensively the people of 
Meroe had appropriated the achievements of 
Romano-Egyptian culture. 

Though many questions must be left for 
others to discuss, a few general conclusions 
may be safely advanced. In the first place, 
the paint on the fragments of plaster was so 
bright that it can hardly have been long exposed 
to the elements ; the prosperity of Basa was 
therefore probably short-lived, and ruin fell on 
the temple a few decades after its completion. 

Secondly, although the period of the con- 
struction of Basa was evidently a period of 
some wealth and culture, when, as is shown by 
the presence of a dial, the exact computation 
of time was a matter of interest, there is a 
strange absence of writing ; hieroglyphs occur 
only on the cartouches of the lion by the reser- 
voir. In this respect Basa does not stand alone ; 
at Musawwarat there are no hieroglyphs and 
only a single line in the cursive Meroitic script : 
at the later pyramids of Meroe, as on temple A 
at Nagaa, several of the spaces prepared for 
hieroglyphs are left blank. On the latest 
temple at Nagaa (temple B) there is no inscrip- 
tion at all ; at Umm Soda, which is clearly akin, 
as we shall see, to Basa, the official script is no 
longer hieroglyphic but cursive. At Basa we 
may reasonably conjecture that the official 
inscriptions, which can hardly have been wholly 

absent, were painted in Meroitic script on 
plaster which has since perished. All these 
considerations show how far removed we are 
from those Ptolemaic days of which Diodorus 1 
wrote, that among the Ethiopians at that time 
the knowledge of the hieroglyphic script was 
universal, and not, as in Egypt, confined to the 
priestly scribes. 

The interdependence of all these sites will be 
made more evident in the sequel. Meanwhile 
we may enforce our conclusions as to the brevity 
of the age which gave them birth by one 
further consideration. Until we know more 
of the contents of the other mounds at Basa it 
will be premature to dogmatize on the present 
plan of the site ; we can only conjecture that 
the second mound between the temple and the 
reservoir conceals a palace or another shrine, 
and that some pottery and building fragments 
which are littered over the ground north of the 
temple enclosure belonged to the lodgings of the 
temple servants ; but the alignment of the two 
lions outside the temple enclosure, and the dis- 
position of the other lions round the reservoir, 
which, by their concentration on the west side, 
evidently point towards the temple as the chief 
centre of attraction, give an indication that the 
whole site was laid out on one definite plan. 
The grouping of buildings and sculptures, in 
other words, was not the haphazard result of a 
long succession of builders, but the organized 
creation of a single mind. And though the 
buildings are modest enough in comparison 
with the colossal works of ancient Egypt, and 
the sculpture rude in execution, this plan was 
not wanting in a certain spaciousness, and the 
appearance of the whole on the sides of the 
well-wooded valley must have been bright and 

Sect. 4. The Hawad. 

The buildings at Basa served the needs of those 
who cultivated the rich lands of Moiat Basa, but 

1 Bk. iii. c. 3. 



a much wider area of grain-land lies only a few 
hours to the south in the valley of the Hawad, 
which is quite separated from this water-system 
by a ridge of gravel. Down this valley the 
waters pour in a real torrent when the rains have 
been heavy in any part of its wide water-shed, 
which reaches almost to Abu Deleig ; in the 
space of a few minutes a spate (Arabic, sell) some 
feet in height will form and rush down to the 
great peril of the flocks that may be wandering- 
there. In a valley south of this two thousand 
sheep and goats were found drowned a few 
summers ago, when an unusually heavy storm 
had burst ; and most Arabs will tell you of hair- 
breadth escapes, when the water has risen up to 
the neck of their camels and they themselves 
have taken refuge in trees. Where depressions 
occur in the bed of the river the water, with the 
soil which it has scoured from the hills, settles 
and stands, and in these depressions the people sow 
their crops, but the trees which flourish every- 
where else along the valley-sides, and the water- 
holes which are sunk in the gravelly parts of the 
bed, show how much water remains elsewhere. 
No rain-gauges or flood-meters have been set up 
in this valley, and no figures can be given at 
present, but the reports of the people living in 
Kabushia and the neighbouring villages by the 
Nile are unanimous in asserting that the flow 
rarely fails altogether. 

The main road from these villages to Abu 
Deleig runs along the west bank of the valley ; 
but travelling from Basa one marches more 
directly on the opposite side, and this was my 
route on a short journey of reconnaissance which 
I made in the autumn of 1906. For the first 
few miles the valley was well wooded, we passed 
several water-holes, some of them disused, others 
still supplying the numerous flocks which graze 
here. Umm Hatab (Mother of Wood) is the name 
of the first district one passes, and here in the 
midst of thick trees arc the ruins of the school of 
a learned man of the Fadnia tribe who has left 
his mark on the district, the Fikih Ibrahim AVad 

Abu Nigma, An hour and a half after leaving 
Basa (on trotting camels) we saw a group of 
heglik trees which mark the boundary between 
Umm Hatab and El Rera, a place where a thick 
undergrowth of trees and shrubs alternates with 
gravelly islands ; in forty minutes more we enter 
Soreiba, so named from a plant which grows 
here, and at this point the valley seems to ascend, 
and the trees become thinner and give way to 
grass-land, and cultivation is reported to exist, 
but lay out of our ken. 

Three hours after leaving Basa, we reached 
Umm Hashima (Mother of Grass), coming here 
upon the first traces of cultivation, and from 
this point we rode all day beside a waving belt 
of yellow dura, though but a portion of what 
might have been sown had been used by the 
people. North of this the country belongs to 
the Fadnia tribe, who graze their flocks upon it ; 
that to the south consists for a whole day's 
march and more of well-nigh continuous grain- 
land, and it is divided for the most part among 
different branches of the Jaalin, who have villages 
on the river-side and come here only during and 
after the rains. Thus Umm Hashima belongs to 
Zeidab ; the next district, Abu Snitat ( = Abu 
Suntat, Father of Sunt trees), belongs to Aliab ; 
Hegeina, which comes next, to Kabushab ; and 
Himiriba, after this, to Umarab, villages on the 
Nile, some of them more than eighty miles away. 
These village names are hybrid words formed of 
an Arabic proper name with a local termination 
drawn from the present desert-dwellers' language 
(To-Bedaui) ; and the Arab villagers, if Arabs 
they may be called, doubtless derived their 
title both to the riverlands and to these inland 
valleys from intermarriage with earlier occupants, 
following upon partial conquest, as we know to 
have been the case in the mining districts of the 
Northern Sudan. It is reasonable to conclude, 
therefore, that the system of land division we 
find to-day corresponds in its broad outlines 
with the system which prevailed in ancient 
Ethiopian days, and that the present landmarks 

D 2 



(miruns) between the different districts, which 
consist of rocks or heaps of stones or clumps 
of trees and bear separate names, may actually 
mark the ancient boundaries of the estates of 
different townships. 

At Himireba we left the valley and turned 
into some rough uncultivated country to the 
south-east in search of an ancient well, near 
which I hoped to find the traces of an old settle- 
ment. This district is called Geheid (j~^&JI) and 
belongs, like the lower reaches of the Hawad, 
to the Fadnia ; the well, which I reckoned to be 
thirty miles from Basa, is called Well of the 
Infidel (Bir el Kafer). Fikih Wad Abu Nigma, 
it is said, once had a vision in which he was told 
that he would find water if he dug in this spot, 
where it was probably obvious, even to those whose 
eyes had not been opened by a vision, that there 
had been a well which had fallen in. However, 
the Fikih came here with three hundred pupils, 
and they re-opened the well and equipped it with 
appliances for drawing the water. We found 
that the well, which is more than 250 feet 
deep, had an enormous mouth, measuring in 
diameter over seven metres ; the sides have been 
built up with rough sandstone blocks for some 
15 feet, but, though still full of water, it is no 
longer used, and the perilous condition of the 
edge prevented us from examining it further. 
In the time of the Fikih the water was drawn by 
bulls, which dragged the ropes over rows of 
forked stakes which still remain, and the death 
of the bulls was the only reason given to me for 
the disuse of the well. A well of this size and 
depth cut in the rock is not the work of Arabs, 
and must date back to ancient days ; but I could 
find no traces of ancient occupation in the neigh- 
bourhood, though some most probably exist. 
We left the well and turned back towards the 
valley of the Hawad, which we crossed higher up, 
and, after passing one or two tanks, came to the 
main road on the west side of the valley which 
leads to Abu Deleig. From this point we made 
for a well called Ambasa, on the road between 

Shendi and Abu Deleig, where the existence of 
an Arabic inscription was reported to me. About 
thirteen miles west of Bir el Kafer we found the 
well, with shady trees close beside it and three 
bullock-walks radiating from the mouth like 
those at the former well. When we arrived 
there, we found the well still covered up, it was 
November 21st, and there was still water in the 
neighbouring reservoirs, but of the Arabic in- 
scription we could see nothing ; it may have fallen 
down the well or been built into the sides of it 
face inwards. An old man, who told me that he 
had seen it, said that it ran, somewhat inelegantly, 
" The well is the possession of Abd el Mahmud, 
and Daro is my reservoir and Koko is my slave ; 
you may water ninety-nine head of cattle." 
From this point on till our arrival in Shendi, a 
day and a half's march, we saw neither cultiva- 
tion nor ancient remains. 

Sect. 5. Umm Soda. 

In August 1906 the rains had, as is not unusual 
in the summer, washed away several miles of 
the railway, and I was in consequence held up for 
three days in the dreary, sun-scorched town of 
Abu Hamid. A new minaret happened to be in 
building at the mosque, and here I met and fell 
into talk with the imam. In his youth this 
sheikh had been a pupil of the famous Fikih 
Ibrahim Wad Abu Nigma ; he had moved with 
his master from the ruined school in the Hawad 
to other quarters near wells named Umm Shedida, 
and had a rare knowledge of this central district 
of the Island of Meroe. We found that we had 
many friends in common, and he discoursed 
freely of the things which interested him, such 
as the seven heavens and the science of the 
stars, and imparted to me much information 
about more sublunary matters which interested 
me. He was fond of describing places as being 
in the direction of the rising of certain stars at 
some given season, a mode of description which 
at the time I thought tiresome and pedantic, but 



which the event fully justified, for, when desert- 
travel is at issue, the Arab, like the Greek's 
Nature, does " nothing in vain." This man 
confirmed a report which I had heard vaguely 
from others, of ruins at a place called Umm Soda 
(the Mother of Black) ; there were here, he said, 
reservoirs like that at Basa, and round one of 
them carved stones of the same kind ; of other 
ruins not already known to me he knew nothing. 
Not until the last week in the following April 
(1907) could I verify the story of the sheikh, 
and the time was ill-chosen, for it was the be- 
ffinninff of the summer and the heat was intense. 
Mr. Drummond and I started from Kabushia 
with Ibrahim, the guide who had accompanied 
us before, and retraced our old road as far as 
Basa. We then turned back into the Hawad, to 
water at some water-holes two miles south of 
Basa, as those by the tomb of Fikih Bafadni 
were dry, and then, leaving the valley on our 
right, we crossed a long, sandy ridge covered 
with tussocks of coarse grass and mirekh bushes. 
These hills (gizan, plural of goz) are part of the 
water-shed which divides the waters of Basa 
from the Hawad, and they are called Umm Samu 
(the Mother of Gum), because in old time gum 
was gathered from the acacia trees {sellim and 
saiyal) which grow upon the lower slopes. 
Thence we passed to Umm Kimta (Mother of 
Bimit Grass), and El Obeid, which Ibrahim de- 
clared to be full of the houses of the Fadnia ; it 
may have contained a dozen huts at distant 
intervals from one another. The same kinds of 
trees grew here as in the lower reaches of the 
Hawad, but about fifteen miles from Basa the 
country changed and the grass-land began ; 
the only trees we saw grew in clumps in lower- 
lying parts of the plain ; elsewhere there was 
nothing but thin blanched grass and black gritty 
shingle. There was no defined track, no striking- 
landmark of any kind, and for guidance we 
seemed to depend wholly on Ibrahim's sense of 
direction. At last, a little after sunset, we passed 
the alternate gravel and grass, and came to the 

beginning of black cotton soil which stretched 
over a plain as flat as the flattest parts of the 
southern Gezira. A little later Ibrahim said 
that we were within two or three hours of Umm 
Soda, and was anxious to march on at once ; but 
as we had already since leaving Basa made a 
long day's journey, I decided that it would be 
pleasanter to send on the baggage camels and 
ride in ourselves the next morning, to find break- 
fast waiting us. Accordingly we spread our 
beds, and the servants departed on their way. 

On the morrow we found to our annoyance 
that the servants had left no food in our saddle- 
bags and very little water, but we comforted 
ourselves with the thought of breakfast awaiting 
us, and started just before sunrise. Meanwhile 
the wind had risen, and as the sun mounted 
higher we saw all round us mirages quivering 
on a very near horizon. For three hours we 
marched on, crossing several strips which had 
been sown the last autumn, some bands of trees, 
and a few tracks leading to the left to Umm 
Shedida. After crossing one of the belts of 
cultivation, my camel tried to bolt to the right, 
and described two great circles before it could 
be forced to follow in the lead of Ibrahim, who 
was now evidently growing nervous as the wind 
had blown away the traces of our baggage camels. 
At last he declared that we must have missed 
the way, our goal was a clump of trees, and 
there were clumps of trees dancing on the 
horizon at every point of the compass ; he 
therefore proposed taking my camel (which was 
the best of the three) and riding round to see 
which were the right trees. We watched him 
disappear from sight, and sat gloomily on the 
lee-side of the two remaining camels, hungry 
and thirsty, in the middle of the dusty plain. 
Fortunately we had not really gone far astray, 
my camel would have carried us there direct if 
I had given him his head, and in less than an 
hour Ibrahim returned with a skinful of water 
which he had got in the camp, but, as he said, 
if we had only gone by night, we should have 



marched by the stars and come as straight as 
the baggage camels ; thus was the Sheikh of 
Abu Hamid with his quaint directions justified 
in our eyes. 

Umm Soda, which I reckoned roughly to be 
about thirty-five miles from Basa, is an island of 
sandstone (?) cropping out of the middle of the 
cotton soil. There is no upstanding rock or hill, 
but the ground for some two miles is covered 
with black shingle, and there are several large 
stones lying about on the surface, some hard and 
grey in colour, others of soft pale sandstone. 
There are many traces of long-continued occupa- 
tion ; at the west end are straggling groups of 
tumuli and rows of small graves marked by 
stones of varying sizes, which are unlike modern 
tombs, but probably do not belong to any very 
remote period ; in the centre are three small 
tanks which are still fairly deep, although they 
have not been cleaned out for years and trees 
grow in the middle of them, and a large tank with 
ancient sculptures round it lies to the east ; the 
origin of all these goes back to the Meroitic age. 

Umm Soda, like Basa, lies close to wide grain- 
lands ; on our way we had passed several strips 
of cultivation, but the greater part lay off our 
road in Khor Gangal. In old days, said Ibrahim, 
this belonged to the Aliab, but in the time of 
the old Government, before the days of Gordon, 
the Fadnia coveted it and fell upon the Aliab. 
The Aliab resisted and slew twenty-five of their 
assailants, losing only six themselves, whereupon 
the Fadnia complained to the Government, which 
flung most of the Aliab into prison and left the 
defeated Fadnia in possession. Ibrahim told 
this story briefly, with the complete detachment 
characteristic of the Arab, who accepts facts 
drily, unstirred by moral indignation. A shrug 
of the shoulders and " The Bedawi is a Bedawi," 
was the only comment made on a story of the 
treacherous murder of Munzinger, which violated 
even the sacred canons of hospitality. 

Nowadays three tribes (the Fadnia, the Ka- 
wahla, and the Aliab) use the tanks at Umm Soda 

to water their flocks during the rainy season ; 
but when these are dry, there is no water nearer 
than the wells of Umm Shedida, which are about 
two hours distant. " But," added Ibrahim, " there 
is ayouth called Mohammed, the grandson of Fikih 
Wad Abu Nigma, who declares that if a well were 
dug here, abundant water would be found. And 
there is a blessing on all he says, so we believe 
the word, though no one has tested it. The 
youth," he continued, " is witless, he can neither 
read nor write, and never sleeps in any tent ; he 
lives always in the open with gazelle and ariel, 
and when he wants food he runs after a gazelle 
and milks it into a bowl and swears that the 
milk of wild beasts is sweeter than honey. He 
never allows dogs to come near the herds of 
antelope, because he is gentle and loves them, 
and therefore they come willingly to him, but if 
they are shy, he is so fleet of foot that he can 
catch them." In the hope of coming to a talk with 
one who might prove strangely attractive, I asked, 
"Where is he now?" " God knows," was the reply, 
" for he runs up and down and never stays in any 
place, but he has truly a wonderful blessing." 

To return to the antiquities, the tanks in the 
centre of the site showed the usual signs of 
ancient engineering in the strengthening with 
masonry of the wings thrown out to guide the 
water, but the most interesting work is at the 
east end ; this is a large reservoir in the shape 
of a horseshoe, measuring about 220 metres from 
toe to heel and about 200 metres across in the 
broadest part. 1 The reservoir has two intakes at 
the south and south-west corners, and the line of 
a guiding wall can be traced by a single course 
of masonry for over 200 metres outside the 
latter of these. Inside the tank is still deep, and 
I counted half a dozen different kinds of trees 
in-owing there : 2 on the banks are eleven carved 
blocks of pale and friable sandstone, five large 
ones and six smaller. 

1 See Mr. Drummond's plan on PI. XIII. 
- Tundub, saiyal, sunt, gemra, sellim, sider. 



The place of honour is held by a block on the 
north-east bank which now measures a metre 
and three quarters in length, and consisted of a 
square base surmounted by a square pillar 
tapering slightly, and carved with an inscription 
in cursive Meroitic characters. 1 Apparently the 
inscription was carved on all four sides of the 
pillar, but the surface of the three exposed sides 
has crumbled away, and letters could only be 
read on the buried face ; here there are nine and 
a half lines, most of which ought to be legible 
when the script has been deciphered, though 
there are gaps even in this fragment of the 
original inscription. When the riddle of the 
script has been read, these lines may give us the 
name of the builder of the tank and the story of 
his other achievements. 

The inscribed stele lies on the top of the bank, 
and after photographing it and taking an im- 
pression, we buried the lettered face again, and 
turned to the other blocks. On the inner slopes 
behind the stele are the remains of four lions 
couchant, cut from the same soft sandstone, and 
so badly weathered that it is only from their 
paws that they can be recognized ; the bases 
measure m. 1 05 by m. '45. Opposite to these, 
on the top of the bank between the two intakes, 
is a large ram couchant, again so badly weathered 
as to be recognizable only from its feet, and on 
the outer side of the same bank below it there 
is a lion of the sitting Basa type. Equidistant 
from these on the eastern and western banks of 
the reservoir are two other large lions of the 
same type ; the western lion has been split in 
comparatively recent days, the eastern one is 
slightly better preserved and measures m. 1*50 
from head to paw. Lastly, on the inner side of 
the north bank, between the western lion and the 
inscribed pillar, are the remains of two small 
editions of the ram couchant. In all, therefore, 
there are, besides the stele, the relics of seven 
lions and three rams. 

« ■ 

1 PI. XII. fig. 29. 

The material in which these works are executed 
is so poor, and they have suffered so much from 
exposure to the weather, that our first feelings 
were of disappointment ; but none the less the 
site has a real significance, and its weather-worn 
monuments add a precious link to the chain of 
evidence which binds together the scattered relics 
of one moment of the past. At Umm Soda the ram 
of Amnion is found side by side with the lion, 
and its presence alone is sufficient to knit this 
place with three other sites where rams of the 
latest period of pre-Christian art have been found, 
Meroe, Soba, and Nagaa (temple C). The lion, as 
we have seen, relates this site with Basa in the first 
place ; at Nagaa, besides the late temples A and 
B where this beast holds the most prominent 
place, there is a lion of precisely similar type on 
the level ground west of the town which has not 
been hitherto published ; at Musawwarat there 
is the fragment of a colossal lion among the 
stones lying round the central temple ; at Soba 
a lion was discovered and removed to Cairo by 
Khurshid Pasha before the time of Lepsius ; 2 
lastly, in type and style these sitting lions (rare 
in Egypt) are clearly of one origin with the two 
lions before the great pylon of the temple of Isis 
at Philae, which owed so many adornments to 
the pious kings of Ethiopia, and perhaps with 
the sitting " dogs " which Bruce reported in 
Abyssinia. 3 The style of all these monuments, 

- Lkpsius, Letters, p. 163. 

3 Bruce, eel. 1813, vol. vi., p. 453. Heeren, I find since 
writing the above, has already suggested that Bruce's 
" mutilated figures of dogs "were " intended for sphinxes 
or even Egyptian lions," and quotes Alvarez to prove the 
existence in Abyssinia of "similar statues of the lions, 
which in his time served as fountains " (African Nations, 
Oxford, 1838, vol. i., p. 457). Ruppel, quoted by Heeren, 
I.e., p. 389, mentions " a lion's head in black granite ; 
evidently a sitting sphinx " at Meroe. Cailliaud's reference 
to an avenue of lions at Meroe (Voyage a Meroe, h., p. 148) 
is probably a mistake, he meant rams. May we trace any 
connection between this predilection for figures of lions and 
the honours associated with the " Lion of the House of 
Judah " in modern Abyssinia ? 



except the last series, which is uncertain, justifies 
us in saying that there was a period when in art 
and cult these sites formed one homogeneous 
group, and the special value of the discovery of 
Umm Soda lies in the extension which it gives 
to this group ; we see the circle of Ethiopian 
civilization widening out, and need not hesitate 
to claim for it the whole region west of the 
Atbara, if we shrink for the present from joining 
it in a single system with the culture of Axum, 
with which it certainly had commercial dealings. 
Proximity to the rainlands of Khor Gangal 
emphasises again the agricultural basis of the 
wealth of Meroe. 

Sect. 6. Gebel Geili. 

The ancient sites which have been just described 
were unknown even by name to Europeans be- 
fore the time of our visits ; the site with which 
we have next to deal has long been marked 
on maps, for example, Cailliaud 1 reports a 
rumour of antiquities here, and since the re- 
conquest many English officials have seen the 
rock-carving, the zol musaicwar (" pictured 
man "), for which it was famous. Colonel 
Talbot described it in The Anglo-Egyptian 
Sudan, and Major Gwynne, C.M.G., gave me 
a sketch which showed that it was akin to the 
later temples at Nagaa. The position of the 
carving and its flatness had, however, baffled all 
attempts to photograph it, and no trace of 
buildings which might explain its presence so 
far from the other Meroitic sites had been dis- 
covered. I was very glad, therefore, that before 
I left the Sudan a journey to Kasala in March 
1908 gave me a chance of seeing it with my 
own eyes. 

Gebel Geili 2 lies on the direct road from Khar- 

1 Voyage a Meroe, iii., p. 138. 

2 PI. XIV. 

toum to Kasala, just ninety miles due east of the 
former town. It is a great granite berg which 
rises boldly out of the plain, shaped like a don- 
key's back, some twenty miles beyond the east 
limit of the sandstone ; and the name, which is a 
Nubian word meaning "red" — though Nubian 
is no longer spoken nearer than Old Dongola — 
faithfully describes the rusty colour to which 
the granite weathers. Water is found only 
ninety feet below the surface, and the place has 
naturally, therefore, long been a centre frequented 
by Arabs. There is now a rest-house here, a 
small post of the Department for the Eepres- 
sion of Slavery, and one or two families of the 
Shukria tribe ; but the majority of Arabs who 
use the wells live, as is their custom, in unob- 
trusive huts at a little distance off, so that they 
may not be overburdened by the duties of hos- 
pitality to every thirsty wayfarer. 

I reached Gebel Geili fifty hours after leaving 
Khartoum, and arranged to spend the next day 
and a half there, in order that I might have 
time to explore the neighbourhood and also to 
photograph the rock-carving whenever the sun's 
rays illumined it best. Sheikh Khalid Abu 
Sinn of the Shukria, the chief man of the dis- 
trict, guided me to the carving as soon as the 
sun rose, and it was clear at once that in what- 
ever way the light fell, the carving was so flat 
that my camera would give only the faintest 
indication of its presence, the figures being cut 
in outline only, and not in relief. Consequently 
I told the sheikh to make me a ladder out of 
some rough pieces of wood that were lying 
about, and, mounted on this, I chalked round 
the outline so as to obtain sufficient contrast for 
my purpose. 

The figures are carved upon the north face of 
a boulder which has fallen from the southern 
end of the hill just opposite to three of the crude 
graffiti of animals which are not uncommon in 
the northern Sudan. The rock is called by the 
natives Umm Daium, and the carving, which 
begins over two metres above the ground-level, 



represents two principal figures. On the left is 
an Ethiopian king in a conventional attitude, 
wearing the uraeus on his head, and shod with 
sandals like those worn by the figures sculptured 
on the Nagaa temple A ; above his head are two 
cartouches no longer decipherable. A quiver is 
slung across his shoulders, and his right hand 
grasps a bow and a spear, the left is extended 
towards the figure on the right. This figure is 
the manifestation as in a disk of a god ; only the 
god's face crowned with a radiated nimbus and 
two arms reached forth towards the king's are 
visible ; in his right hand the god holds a flower 
or fruit of some kind, possibly the spathe of a 
date palm or a head of dura, and in his left 
a sevenfold cord attached to captives kneeling, 
like those upon the pylon at Nagaa. The 
divinity, evidently a sun-god, seems to be 
conceived as issuing from the heavens to re- 
ceive the spoils of war and to assure the fruits 
of the earth ; where in a less spiritual conception 
the feet of the god would have stood, and in the 
space beneath, the artist has lightly sketched the 
figures of falling foemen. The knowledge of 
foreshortening shown in these, which contrasts 
curiously with the stiff attitude of the king, can, 
like the latter, be compared not unfavourably 
with similar representations on old Egyptian 
temples ; it shows surely that the man who 
carved these figures, like the sculptor of the 
frog at Basa, was a master who, if he followed 
at times the traditions of hieratic convention, 
also broke away at times, like his precursors, to 
express the forms of living reality. 

The first question raised by this monument, 
so different in many respects from the others 
which we have studied, touches the object of its 
maker : was this a memorial carved upon the 
rock to celebrate the successful issue, perhaps 
the extreme goal, of some ancient raid, or is it 
a witness to an abiding occupation of this 
region 1 A question which only the discovery 
of ancient habitations could answer. 

Concerning these I addressed myself accord- 

ingly to Sheikh Khalid Abu Sinn, the local 
representative of the Shukria tribe, and was led 
by him to two Muslim tombs of enormous 
dimensions on the east of the rock, which were 
the tombs, he said, of Sheikh Sha el Din and 
Bint el Mek, an heiress of the Hameg, whose 
marriage with a sheikh of the Shukria first 
brought this district into the hands of his 
ancestors. These tombs were obviously in no 
wise to my purpose, and he led me from them 
up to the summit of the hill ; here he pointed 
out the remains of old stone huts and coarse 
pottery, and groups of lines scratched upon the 
rock, 1 for each of which he had a ready inter- 
pretation. These also were palpably later than 
the carving, and belonged to an unsettled period 
when men retreated to the fastnesses of the 

While we were clambering over the hill-top, 
on which there are several natural reservoirs 
(galtas), we were joined by a man of the 
Batahin, a certain Muhammad Ibrahim, who had 
been lately released from prison, where he had 
served a sentence for slave-dealing. His presence 
was obviously very unwelcome to Sheikh Khalid, 
and the two men were as different as can be 
imagined. The Shukria are an eminently re- 
spectable tribe, and Khalid, a dark, tall, 
courteous, dignified man, rather loosely hung 
and with somewhat heavy eyes, was a good 
type of the Shukria, a member, too, of a very 
distinguished family. The Batahin, on the 
other hand, are the most notorious camel-thieves 
in the country, and their sufferings at the hands 
of the Khalifa, who executed sixty-seven of them 
on a single day, were no more than they deserved 
according to the common report. Muhammad 
Ibrahim was true to his stock, in appearance a 

1 Some of these, however, are exactly like the grooves 
in rocks at Gebel Gule figured by Seligmann in the 
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 1910, Plate 
23, and were probably, like them, used for grinding stone 
implements such as the mace-heads actually found on 
the site. 



hard-bitten wiry little Arab, with keen wary 
eyes and copper-coloured skin drawn taut over 
a shapely little head, and in manner pushful 
and pertinacious. Khalid's scowls and snubs 
had no effect whatever upon the Bathani, who 
insisted on following us, and when at last I 
questioned him too, he said that he knew of a 
place where there were red bricks in abundance, 
which no governor or inspector had ever 
seen. To Khalid's disgust, I bade him lead the 

The Bathani took us down from the top of the 
hill, across the burial-place we had first visited, 
over a ridge to the north-east, and there in an 
open space near some disused wells he pointed 
out clear traces of walls of burnt brick. And 
lying about were fragments of the fine chalky 
pottery which I had previously found on all the 
old Ethiopian sites, and fragments of stone rings 
like those unearthed at Basa. Our question was 
therefore answered ; here, as at Nagaa and Basa 
and Aulib, were the permanent habitations of a 
settled race, and yet another witness was found 
to the peaceful civilization which once centred 
in Meroe. 

The Bathani did not carry his triumph with 
moderation ; again and again he shouted exult- 
ingly that he had shown me what no governor 
or inspector had ever seen, and begged me to 
write his name in my book. 1 Later on, when he 
had departed to water his camels, Sheikh Khalid 
excused his own ignorance to me ; he was the 
son of great lords who ruled over wide lands and 
whose business it was to look after their crops 
and their animals ; they were not, like the 
Batahin, always nosing along the ground after 

1 He told me also of four other ancient places in the 
neighbourhood. In two of these, Wadi Nail and Wadi 
Abu Hadba, Mr. Grabhatn tells me he has already found 
stone implements. The others which I transcribe for the 
help of later explorers are Awag Ras, described as a great 
non-Muslim cemetery a little west of the road leading to 
Abu Deleig, and El Siyu, a place with potsherds, round 
stones and a small hafir, on the way to El Daein. 

the tracks of other people's camels, and conse- 
quently knew nothing of the bricks and potsherds 
which might lie there. He had his revenge in 
the rest-house afterwards, for both of them came 
with their small sons to see me later on. Said 
Sheikh Khalid to his child, " Now go to the 
Mudir and say, ' I am a son of the Govern- 
ment,' " which the boy did, and was duly re- 
warded. When the Bathani pushed his son 
forth to do likewise, the child shrieked and fled 
back to its father, who vainly told it " not to be 
afraid of the Turk." 2 But to the archaeologist 
land-lore is more precious than loyalty, and he has 
more delight in the knowledge of the place of 
potsherds than in obedience to the word of the 
Lord. This experience will serve, however, as a 
caution against concluding the non-existence of 
remains from the ignorance of one or two inhabi- 
tants, for on general grounds no one was more 
likely than Sheikh Khalid to have an exhaustive 
knowledge of the immediate region. 

Apart from its geographical position, to which 
we shall return later, the rock-carving at Gebel 
Geili has one or two special claims on our 
attention. All the other sculptured remains 
of the Meroitic age have been found in the 
sandstone belt ; here alone at present have we 
found the carver attacking a granite surface. 
To this we may attribute the unfinished appear- 
ance of the design, and the fact that the sculptor 
has been content with a representation in out- 
line only ; otherwise in conception and drawing 
the work is perhaps the most interesting of all 
Ethiopian reliefs — 

L'ceuvre sort plus belle 

D'une forme au travail 


and we are not sorry to miss the very deep, 

2 The Sudanese Arabs generally regard the English as 
Turks, and thereby distinguish them from the "Aulad 
el Rif," the Egyptian "sons of thei soil." The "Govern- 
ment," of course, is a mysterious entity, powerful, inscru- 
table, dangerous, a conception somewhat like the idea of 
God conceived by some Evangelical sects. 



plump, over-finished traits of the Nagaa work- 
men. The contrast between the full-face of the 
god and the profile of the king, which may be 
compared with the treatment at Nagaa Temple A 
of those gods who are not directly borrowed from 
Egyptian prototypes, suggests a relation with 
other later developments. In Abyssinian art 
the profile form is almost exclusively reserved 
for the portraits of devils ; the first European 
design of gold coins for Menelik was cancelled 
because the King of Kings was hereon repre- 
sented in profile, and an effigy in full-face was 
hastily drawn in place of the offensive figure. 
At Gebel Geili and Nagaa we see the same 
convention evidently in force, though here the 
profile is still admissible for the royal worshipper. 
Inscriptions found both at Axum and Meroe 
establish connections at least intermittently 
between the two states ; the presence of such 
conventions as that just noted point to a real 
underlying unity. 

Sect. 7. Murabbaa and the Question 
of Trade Routes. 

"When he was at Nagaa, Cailliaud's guides 
assured him 1 that on a road leading thence to 
Abyssinia there were ruins as large as those at 
Nagaa, and covered like them with sculptures at 
a spot some two days distant. This position, 
adds Cailliaud, would correspond exactly to that 
of Mandeyr, the ancient capital of the Shepherd 
Arabs. A day and a half s march further in the 
same direction there were, according to the same 
authority, other ruins of similar character, 
covering a great area at a place called Kely, from 
which there was a road leading to Abou-Ahraz. 

In this passage Cailliaud, with an exactitude 
which cannot be too highly commended, dis- 
tinguishes carefully between what the Arabs 
told him and what he himself conjectured. The 
name Mandeyr was an addition of his own and, 

1 Vol. in., p. 138. 

as it has proved, a most unfortunate addition ; 
for it led to the identification of this ruin site 
with a Gebel Mandera which is far away to the 
east, and which Lepsius thought of visiting, but 
abandoned owing to the discouraging reports 
which he received from Linant and others. 2 
The story of the Arabs, so far as it concerned 
Gebel Geili, we have already seen to be well 
founded, though the account is exaggerated ; 
proofs of the truth of the first part of their 
story have been finally given by a discovery 
made in 1906 by Colonel E. A. Dickinson, then 
and still Governor of the Blue Nile Province. 
Colonel Dickinson found the remains of an ancient 
temple at a place called Murabbaa, the Square 
Chamber, which he judges to be about 25 miles 
N.W. of Gebel Geili and about 4 miles N.E. of 
Gebel Giheid, which is not to be confounded with 
the district of the same name mentioned in the 
section dealing with the Hawad. Murabbaa thus 
lies almost on the direct line between Nagaa and 
Gebel Geili, and its distance from the two places 
respectively corresponds closely enough with the 
estimates quoted by Cailliaud. 

There is no prominent natural feature, Colonel 
Dickinson writes to me, near the site, but the 
building stands on a slight mound some 150 
yards N.N.W. of a tank. From the ground-plan 
made by Colonel Dickinson, 3 the building appears 
to have been a small temple, in plan and size 
very much like that of Basa, and orientated like 
Basa a little south of east. It was entered 
through a pylon the outer corners of which, like 
the corners of the back wall of the temple, 
terminated, again as at Basa, in small engaged 
columns. It was built of sandstone, but as 
only one course is now visible in position, and 
Colonel Dickinson had no tools with which to 
dig down to the ground-level, it is uncertain 
whether there were any internal columns or 
pavement. The stones were carefully faced and 

2 Lepsius, Letters, p. 130. 

3 PI. V. 

E 2 



squared, and on those at the corner Colonel 
Dickinson noted guiding lines for the masons ; 
the building betrays clearly the hands of the 
same expert builders who worked at Nagaa and 

The whole region round Murabbaa, reaching 
towards Abu Deleig and the Ha wad on the north- 
east and towards Soba in the west, is honey- 
combed with reservoirs. Immediately round about 
Murabbaa, Colonel Dickinson tells me, there are 
patches of cultivation belonging to the Hassunab, 
whose principal village, Wad Hassuna, is not far 
away, and a good deal of sennemekka is collected 
in these parts ; but at the present day the wealth 
of the district is pastoral rather than agricultural, 
and in so far Cailliaud may have had some justi- 
cation for calling it the ancient capital of the 
Shepherd Arabs. 

This site completes the tale of works of 
masonry found in the interior of the Island of 
Meroe. A little east of Wad Hassuna we leave 
the sandstone belt and enter a region where the 
only stones are of hard crystalline formation ; 
and it is to this fact alone that I attribute our 
failure to find other sites on the way to Abyssinia, 
for other evidence of ancient times has been 
already found in two places east of Gebel Geili. 
In 1907 Mr. Grabham and Mr. Bird found some 
rude stone implements similar to those from 
Gebel Geili and Basa at Sofeya el Wata, which is 
35 kilometres east of Gebel Geili, and at Gebel 
Sabaat, which is 170 kilometres in the same 
direction. At both these sites — the former alone 
is known to me personally — and elsewhere there 
are reservoirs like those at Nagaa and Musaw- 
warat. Lastly, about 40 kilometres east of Goz 
Regeb, on the road to Kasala, I noticed in 1906 
a great quantity of potsherds pointing to an 
early occupation, which unfortunately I could 
not date ; at Goz Regeb itself I could find no 
trace of the building which Burckhardt l imagined 
that he saw. Sufficient, however, is forthcoming- 

1 Oj). cit., p. 382. 

to justify us in bringing the whole of the Island 
of Meroe within the sphere of the rulers of the 
western half. 

We are now in a position to return to a 
question which was mooted in an earlier section 
of this chapter. Are the buildings which have 
been found stations on great trade routes, or 
were they raised because a more or less settled 
population had gathered for some purpose or 
another round these particular spots ? The 
question is not very difficult to solve : some of 
these sites do lie on old trade routes, but the 
coincidence is accidental, the buildings upon the 
sites are not in themselves adapted to answer 
the purpose of rest-houses, they are not, like all 
stations on other great trade routes, at regular 
distances from one another, and they depended 
for their water supply on reservoirs which were 
dry for half the year. 

Geographically, the sites fall into two broad 
groups : Meroe is the river-port of the first group, 
which includes Khor Aulib, Basa and Umm Soda ; 
the southern group — consisting of Wadi el Banat, 
Musawwarat, Nagaa and Murabbaa — looks towards 
Shendi or Wad Ban Naga on the river ; Gebel 
Geili is roughly equidistant from all three ports. 

With regard to the first group, the main trade 
route from Meroe to the south would lead through 
the Hawad, and thence run due south to Gebel 
Geili, passing near Abu Deleig. Khor Aulib is 
obviously too close to the river to be of any 
importance on this route, but travellers might 
find it convenient to halt at Basa, though Basa 
is a very short day's journey from Meroe, and 
the fertility of the land gives another manifest 
reason why this site should have been built upon. 
Between Basa and Gebel Geili no vestige of 
ancient building has been found, though the 
Well of the Infidel in Geheid probably dates 
from this period, and would be of real utility to 
travellers. The position of Umm Soda is clearly 
motived rather by the proximity of rich rain- 
lands than by the needs of merchants travelling 
eastwards, who might conceivably have chosen a 



route which is not used now, and on which no 
other ancient works have been found. 

In the second group the coincidence of the 
sites and the route is more striking. Once in 
1905 we were surprised one night, when camping 
at Nagaa, to find strangers sitting outside the tent 
waiting to give us " the Peace " ; they proved 
to be pedlars on the way from Rufaa to Shendi, 
who had passed by Gebel Geili and somewhere 
near Murabbaa ; on the following day they 
would pass near Musawwarat and Wadi el Banat. 
All these places, therefore, do actually lie on a 
route which is still used, and it is doubtless for 
this reason that they were the first sites made 
known by the Arabs to European inquirers. 
But the existence of each can be explained quite 
naturally on its own merits, without reference to 
the needs of commercial enterprise. Wadi el 
Banat 1 may be dismissed, like Khor Aulib in the 
former group, as being too close to the river. 
Musawwarat is a palace, its presence is due to 
the whim of a king who saw that the valley was 
a very pleasant one ; the well which is near it 
was dug only in the time of the Egyptian 
Government. Nagaa is near rich grain-lands, 
and the buildings are far too extensive for those 
of a mere station ; the well here, again, is new, 
dug at the orders of Sir Eeginald Wingate, after 
a visit which he made there in 1904. 

In all these works, therefore, I prefer to see, 
not the monumental records of a single raid, nor 

1 I was told by an Arab once that the place is so called 
because the girls in the river villages come to dance here 
after the rains. The temple here deserves further study, 
though it is much broken. I have only seen it once, in 
1904, and could then make out with difficulty on the outside 
face of the west wall two figures clothed in skins, with 
heavy rings upon their feet, carrying what appeared to be a 
net ; the figure published by Lepsius of a similar type on 
the external face of the south wall is rather better preserved. 
On the inside walls are the usual religious subjects. 

stations upon ancient trade routes, but the work 
of a settled people living upon and cultivating 
the inner valleys as well as the banks of the 
Nile, a conclusion which is, I submit, of the 
gravest moment to those who wish to estimate 
the real significance of Meroitic culture. 

The commercial importance of ancient Meroe 
as a centre of distribution between Central 
Africa and Egypt, Arabia and the Farther East 
has been exaggerated. The land-spaces which 
separate Meroe from the markets of the world 
seem too great for trade ever to have been the 
chief prop of its ancient wealth, although the 
merchandise were carried by slaves themselves 
destined for the market. Even with a railway 
to the sea, Sudan merchants find it difficult to 
compete in Eed Sea ports against Arabian dates 
and sea-borne Indian grain. It is, therefore, 
necessary to insist upon another side of Meroitic 
culture that has been too long ignored. With 
the solitary exception of Musawwarat, which was 
merely a palace, all the remains of ancient work 
lie near rich regions, and all, with the exception 
of Gebel Geili, depended on tanks for their water- 
supply. Meroe at the height of its prosperity 
was established on as broad an economic basis as 
Egypt or Mesopotamia. The people could and 
did grow their own grain on lands richer and 
wider than the whole of Egypt ; they could 
pasture their herds on limitless plains. Their 
country was not like Egypt, the gift of a single 
river ; they could gather a harvest from rainlands 
with so little trouble that later generations, as 
we have seen, attributed their wealth to super- 
natural assistants. Precious stones and metals 
they had in abundance, but the rulers never 
found it necessary to issue coins of their own, 
and but few foreign coins have been discovered 
in the Island ; commercially, therefore, Meroe 
remained in the same stage as Pharaonic 





Before discussing the date to which these 
monuments are to be assigned, let us take a 
brief glance at the civilization to which they 
point. A long chain of towns and villages 
fringed the river's edge ; at Meroe and Soba 
and Dungeil there were cities of no mean size, 
and in these and in many other places the 
houses were built of burnt brick, the people 
used finely painted pottery, and their princes 
went abroad in magnificent robes and jewellery. 
From the river we have seen this culture 
reaching back into the valleys of the interior ; 
the once impenetrable forest had been cleared, 
and the wild beasts driven farther inland, so 
that shepherds might pasture their flocks in 
security, and peasants plant the richer lands. 
The regions which are to this day the most 
fruitful were those cultivated in the past, and 
near them enormous reservoirs were duo- to 
store water during the months when alone 
cultivation was possible. At no less than seven 
sites far from the river are visible traces of the 
same civilization that flourished on the banks of 
the Nile ; here, as by the river, there were little 
temples and houses built of brick and stone, 
decorated with florid carving and gaudily painted. 
The moment which gave birth to this culture 
was evidently a moment of great peace and 
well-being; at Meroe and Dungeil there are 
signs of fortification, but the other sites are open 
and undefended, their dwellers therefore feared 
no foe. Yet the internal evidence shows that 
they had intercourse with other civilized powers 
both to the north and east. 

Some of the buildings in question belong, as 
we have seen, to the later Eoman period ; can 
we find any earlier age which presents all the 

conditions demanded by the picture we have 
sketched ? 

Sect. 1. History of Meroe before 70 a.d. 

Concerning the history of the Island of Meroe 
in the days before Alexander the Great our 
positive knowledge is almost confined to the 
sentence in which Herodotus (ii. 29) tells us 
that it was a great city and metropolis boasting 
an oracle of Zeus. Doubtless a site so favoured 
by nature had been occupied for long ages, but 
the character of the settlement and even the 
race of its inhabitants are alike matters of con- 
jecture. Raiders from Egypt descended upon 
the Sudan again and again from the time of the 
Old Empire onwards, but we are so far from 
being able to identify the points which they 
reached, that names which some scholars locate 
south of Khartoum, others place north of Haifa. 
The most reasonable conclusion that we can 
draw from such raids, sent in quest of ebony or 
ivory, or gold, or slaves, is that there was little 
regular commercial intercourse between the two 
countries by means of which these articles could 
have been more simply obtained. And there ia 
no evidence to be found, either in the stories of 
these raids or, at present, in the remains in the 
country, that Meroe developed in self-contained 
isolation a great civilization of its own. 1 

The capital of the Ethiopian kings who 
conquered Egypt in the 8 th and 7 th centuries 
before Christ was at Napata near Gebel Barkal, 
and inscriptions of some of these kings and their 

1 Such, for example, as that displayed in Lower Nubia 
by Reisner's C group graves (Bulletins and Reports of the 
Archaeological Survey of Nubia). 



successors have been found in the province of 
Dongola ; but although something like the name 
Meroe has been deciphered on the inscription of 
Nastasenen, pointing to connections through the 
Baiuda desert between Napata and Meroe, which 
must of necessity have existed, nothing of this 
date has yet been discovered in the island. 
Both in style and material the Meroitic monu- 
ments differ from those most certainly connected 
with Piankhi and his successors, whose inscrip- 
tions are carved upon hard stone, while all the 
larger Meroitic remains above described, with 
the exception of Gebel Geili and one stone from 
Dungeil, are of soft stone. Moreover, at Gebel 
Barkal itself the remains upon the surface, 
temples of soft sandstone once heavily plastered 
and painted, like those at Basa, belong with one 
exception clearly to a date long after Piankhi, for 
beneath them on much lower levels are the founda- 
tions of buildings more worthy of the workers 
in hard stone. The great historical inscriptions 
found at Gebel Barkal, though discovered in the 
upper strata, are an exception which can be easily 
explained. They were found, 1 as an old labourer 
who took part in the original excavation told 
Prof. Breasted and myself, standing upright 
against the left wall of the great pylon in the 
largest temple on the site ; but most of the walls 
of this temple date from the Roman period, 2 
and the stelai were manifestly placed there, like 
the rams of Amenophis III., as precious relics of 
a long departed past. Meroe we know to have 
been, like Napata, continuously occupied for 
centuries, and it follows that it is only by 
accident that we can hope to find vestiges of the 
earlier epochs on the surface. The stratification, 
however, seems to be normal ; the remains on 
the surface are like the remains on the surface 

1 The "official " version of the discovery is quite different ; 
it is quoted and very pertinently criticized by Budge 
(i., pp. 149, 150). 

2 The American Journal of Semitic Languages, 
vol. xxv., 1908, p. 32. "Second preliminary report of 
the Egyptian Expedition," by Prof. Breasted. 

at Gebel Barkal and the other remains in the 
interior of the island, and all belong together to 
an age long after the time of the Ethiopian 

Neither writers nor inscriptions nor antiquities 
avail to throw any clear light on the early his- 
tory of Meroe. It is not until the Ptolemaic age 
that we can escape from the realm of speculation, 
and even then our escape is only partial. The 
age of the earlier Ptolemies was a time of genuine 
expansion ; explorers, traders, and men of science 
made their way beyond the borders of Egypt, 
and memoirs were compiled by several of these 
travellers for the instruction of learned circles 
in Alexandria. We hear of one Greek, Dalion, 
who travelled far south of Meroe, and of another, 
Simonides the younger, who lived in it for five 
years ; 3 and two places in the Sudan, Meroe and 
Ptolemais epi Theras, 4 hold a special place in the 
history of geography as geodetic stations on the 
first meridians used by Eratosthenes. There 
should have been no lack of authentic informa- 
tion, and yet perhaps the very number of 
authorities was no unmixed blessing. The 
authors were in conflict on many points, accusa- 
tions of credulity and inaccuracy were freely 
made, 5 and the second- or third-hand compilers 
on whom we depend have left but a confused 
picture of the country. And surely this result 
can hardly surprise us when we think of the 
conditions under which both explorers and com- 
pilers worked. The explorers were describing a 
huge amorphous region of desert, swamp, and 
jungle, inhabited by countless semi-barbarian 
tribes ; means of communication were few and 
difficult, means of accurately recording and fixing 
points reached, except by dead reckoning of days 
of travel, were not, in spite of Eratosthenes, 
within the compass of the ordinary traveller ; 
the institutions of the tribes were in the fluid 

3 Pliny, H. N., vi. c. 35. 

4 lb., c. 34. 

5 Diodorus, iii. c. 11. 



state inseparable from an unsettled stage of 
civilization ; untrained observers who attempted 
to cope with such material to-day would not give 
us a much better picture than the Alexandrian 
adventurers. The compilers had yet another 
difficulty to contend with ; not only had they 
to weigh the conflicting reports of a number of 
travellers, but they had to reconcile these with 
the traditional history of the region as it had 
been handed down by the classical writers. 
However, great stores of precious material were 
collected, and long fragments of these collections 
have been preserved by Strabo, Diodorus, Pliny 
and others, and this alone makes the brief period 
of the earlier Ptolemies infinitely more fruitful 
to the student of Ethiopia than the long centuries 
covered by the old Egyptian dynasties. 1 The 
obscurities, the confusions, the contradictions in 
the resulting picture are proof of the honesty 
with which our writers set to work. 

The Ptolemaic writers 2 truly observed that 
Egypt was formed out of the mud carried down 
from Ethiopia, and inasmuch as Egyptian civiliza- 
tion was older than any other that they knew, 
they concluded that Ethiopian civilization must 
be the oldest of all. The Ethiopians were the 
first men who ever lived, the only truly autoch- 
thonous race, the first to institute the worship of 
gods and rites of sacrifice. Egypt itself was a 
colony of Ethiopia, and the laws and script in 
both la«nds were therefore naturally the same, 
but the hieroglyphic script was more widely 
known to the vulgar in Ethiopia than in Egypt. 
The last statement may have been based on 
fact, because the Ethiopians, like the modern 
Dongolawis, being less industrious in the field 
than the Egyptian fellahin, must have had more 
leisure to devote to the study of sacred lore ; but 
the other statements we can see were the out- 
come of a mistaken philosophy. In the fabulous 
glories of King Memnon and King Cepheus 

1 Compare Strabo, pp. 789, 790. 

2 See Diodorus, iii. cc. 2, 3. 

" whose rule reached over Syria," 3 and in the 
story of great days when Meroe had an army of 
250,000 men and 400,000 artisans, some have 
recognized a real echo of the conquests of 
Piankhi and Tirhaka, but it seems more likely 
that they are reminiscences of the greatness of 
Southern Arabia. Such were the classical legends 
which the Alexandrian encyclopedists were forced 
to reconcile or contrast with the tales brought 
home by the travellers. 

The travellers told a very different story. The 
country according to them was sunk in utter 
stagnation; 4 alongside of the river there were 
towns built mostly of split branches of palms 
interwoven together and bricks, but beyond the 
margin of the river the country was inhabited by 
nomads known with few exceptions by nicknames, 
such as the root-eaters, the marshmen, the seed- 
eaters, the elephant- eaters and so forth. The 
small strip of land which could be called civilized 
was ruled by kings who were reverenced like 
gods and lived imprisoned in their palaces. The 
inhabitants above, or of (?), Meroe worshipped 
Hercules, Pan, and Isis, 5 besides some other 
barbaric deity ; some tribes threw their dead 
into the water, others kept them in their houses 
enclosed in hyalus (?), 6 others buried them round 
the temples in coffins of baked clay. We hear 
nothing of trade, not even of barter, and only 
one personality of southern origin has survived 
in the records of the Ptolemaic age ; he, 
Ergamenes, 7 is famous for having abolished, 
temporarily at least, a barbarous ordinance of 
the priests which compelled the king of whom 
they were tired to commit suicide, and he, 
moreover, has left certain traces of his activity 
only in the northernmost parts of Nubia between 

3 Pliny, H. N., vi. c. 35. 
* Strabo, pp. 819, 821, 822. 

5 Contrast Diodorus, iii. c. 9, with Strabo, p. 822, on 
this point. 

6 Compare Herodotus, iii. c. 24. 

7 Diodorus, iii. c. 6. Strabo does not consider his 
name worth mentioning. 



the first two cataracts. The travellers knew 
better than the antiquaries, and truly depicted 
as existing beneath and around a narrow fringe 
of civilization primitive conditions like those 
still found among the negro tribes of Central 
Africa, customs which may have lain behind the. 
institutions of Egypt, but at a distance to be 
measured in millenniums. 

When light next breaks upon the scene, one 
other internal revolution had taken place. In- 
stead of the priest-ridden kings who ruled before 
and perhaps after Ergamenes, the Roman prefects 
of the Augustan age found Ethiopia under the 
suzerainty of a line of queens named Candace, 
whose capital was at the old city of Napata. 1 

The circumstances of the rise of this dynasty 
are nowhere described, but I suggest that some 
conclusions may be drawn from two passages 
in Strabo. On the authority of Eratosthenes 
we read 2 that in the third century B.C. the 
Sembritae occupied an island south of Meroe, 
which I take to be the Gezira ; that they were 
ruled by a woman, but recognized the suzerainty 
of " those in Meroe," presumably the priestly 
corporation mentioned in the story of Erga- 
menes. More than a century later Artemidorus, 
writing about 100 B.C., described another district, 
called Tenessis, which I identify with the district 
between Kasala and Galabat : this, he says, 3 was 
occupied by another branch of the Sembritae, 
who were ruled by a queen to whom Meroe also 
was subject. It would seem to follow therefore 
that between the time of Eratosthenes and 
Artemidorus one of the vassal tribes of Meroe 
had overthrown the suzerain power, already 
weakened by internal dissensions, and had 
established, according to their native custom, the 
rule of a line of queens who only moved to the 
old capitals during the first century B.C. 

The rule of queens is no unusual thing in this 

1 Strabo, p. 820. 

2 lb., p. 786. 

3 lb., pp. 770, 771. 

part of Africa ; the position of the sister-consort 
in Egypt, the right of the sister's son to succeed 
his uncle in the Christian kingdom of Dongola, 
are instances of African " feminism " which can be 
illustrated more strikingly among less developed 
tribes. But the little that we know of the 
dynasty of Candaces does not warrant us in 
supposing that their dominion was very firmly 
established ; the authority of these queens was 
probably like that wielded by the Sultans of 
Sennar in the 17th and 18th centuries. These 
Sultans claimed sovereign rights from Sennar to 
Dongola, but the country was really ruled by a 
number of petty chieftains (Meks or Meleks) 
who paid tribute only when an exceptionally 
puissant suzerain gave them no choice, and 
otherwise did as seemed good in their own eyes. 
The first Roman prefect treated not with the 
queen, but with the chiefs of Nubia ; the second, 
Petronius, 4 overran the country in 24 B.C. and 
sacked the queen's capital, with an army less 
than half the size of the very modest force 
which overthrew the power of the Dervishes, 5 
and the fact that the queen could rally 30,000 
men to make a hurried raid on the unwarlike 
people of Upper Egypt is no evidence of an 
organized soverainty. At this time the court of 
Candace had so few dealings with the civilized 
world, that the queen could plead with apparent 
plausibility that none of her retinue knew of the 
name or seat of Caesar. 6 Eighty years later 
the expedition of explorers sent by Nero mention 
a Candace as ruler only of the district round 
Meroe, and speak of forty-five kings of Ethiopia, 7 
who had as much right, doubtless, to the kingly 
title as the Meleks of the 18 th century or the 
Sultans of Blacks in the Bahr el Ghazal to-day. 

4 Pliny, H. N., vi. c. 35. 

5 The total force engaged in the Omdurman Campaign 
was a little over 22,000 men (Royle, The Egyptian Campaign. 
London, 1900, p. 560). The army of Petronius numbered 
less than 10,000 foot and 800 cavalry (Strabo, p. 820). 

6 Strabo, p. 821. 

7 Pliny, II. N., vi. c. 35. 



Nero's explorers reported that the country 
was sunk in abject misery. Pliny quotes long 
catalogues of towns on the river-banks from 
earlier Greek writers, and adds that in his day 
hardly any of these were in existence. Nero's 
troops had found nothing but deserts on their 
route, and the old capital, Napata, was a little 
town remarkable only because it still continued 
to exist. In the neighbourhood of Meroe this 
expedition noted that the grass became greener 
and fresher, that there was an appearance of 
forests and traces of rhinoceros and elephant, 1 and 
that in the city itself the buildings were few in 
number. No one who visited the country in the 
years succeeding the rout of the Dervishes, and 
walked through the deserted ruins of Old Don- 
gola or Berber or Metemma, will have any 
difficulty in picturing the scene of desolation 
and misery which met the eyes of Nero's 
emissaries. In 1900 a thick jungle teeming 
with game covered the banks of the Atbara and 
the Dinder, where thirty years earlier Baker had 
found a long chain of villages and little or 
nothing to shoot. The tracks of rhinoceros and 
elephant seen by the Roman soldiers prove a 
similar retrocession of man from these regions, 
if man had ever effectually occupied them. 
Pliny, with the legends of a glorious antiquity 
ringing in his ears, concluded that continuous 
warfare with Egypt had reduced Ethiopia to 
this wretched pass ; but for this continuous war- 
fare there is no warrant in history, and it would 
never have been put forward had it not been for 
the mythical splendours of the hoary past. 

It is difficult, then, to find either in the age 
of the Ptolemies or in the first century of the 
Roman Empire any period into which we can fit 
the conditions postulated by the nature of the 
ruins under discussion. We admit freely that 
Meroe was inhabited throughout this time, and 
numbered Greek immigrants among its popula- 

1 Generally corroborated, so far as the Island of Meroe 
is concerned, by Sirabo, p. 822. 

tion at least under the earlier Ptolemies ; we 
admit also that a few decades of anarchy are 
sufficient to cause such a relapse as Pliny has 
described, and that some of the pyramids may 
conceivably have been built during spasmodic 
intervals of progress ; but we claim that the 
existence of such spasmodic intervals must be 
first demonstrated, and meanwhile that the 
evidence for a later date for the majority of 
remains on the surface in the Island of Meroe 
is too strong to be lightly overlooked. 

Sect. 2. Meroe and its Neighbours in the 
Imperial Age. 

Since the days of Gibbon it has been a com- 
monplace that prosperity had never previously 
been so widely diffused throughout the civilized 
world as in the time of the Antonines, and we 
might add that civilization had never previously 
been so ostentatious. The reason for this 
efflorescence is not far to seek. For centuries 
craftsmen and cultivators in the Nearer East 
had enjoyed in some isolation a measure of 
settled government, when Alexander and his 
successors broke down ancient barriers and 
opened new markets and new fields of labour ; 
with the Roman conquest and with the gradual 
civilization of Gaul and Spain the circle was 
widened enormously. Years of experiment 
were necessary before traders and capitalists 
could find the natural lines of movement ; but 
by the time of Nero the age of experiment was 
over, the streams of production and distribution 
had burst through all obstacles and flowed in 
orowinef volume over the whole civilized world. 
The same economic pressure which under the 
Republic had sent Italian capital to the Nearer 
East and brought Oriental products and labour to 
Italy, now drove merchants yet farther afield be- 
yond the frontiers of the Empire, The tentative 
adventures of the Ptolemies, to which allusion 
has been already made, left more trace in the 
libraries of Alexandria than in the new lands 



they wished to exploit ; the Roman Imperialists, 
on the other hand, were more fortunate in their 
ventures than in their chroniclers. 

A few scattered references enable us to trace 
some steps in their progress in the north-east 
corner of Africa. We know, for example, that 
in the days of Claudius the commercial rivalry 
of the Arabs was crushed by the destruction 
of Aden and the introduction of a protective 
tariff on goods from Arabian ports ; that about 
the same time it was found possible to sail direct 
to the coast of Malabar by help of the monsoons, 
and that thus the Indian trade was revolutionized. 
The explorers sent into the Sudan by Nero were 
but some of many pioneers who discovered the 
great trade routes which commerce was to 
follow for more than a thousand years. 

In the north-east corner of Africa there are 
four chief powers to be considered at this period, 
Egypt, which was an Imperial prefecture, and 
three autonomous native states, the Blemyes, 
Axum, and Meroe ; and a brief consideration of 
the varying vicissitudes of these powers will be 
sufficient to enable us to answer the question 
propounded at the beginning of this chapter. 

Egypt is the only one of the four about which 
we are really well informed, and its share in the 
general prosperity of the world is proved on 
many sides. Trade with India and Arabia 
flourished exceedingly, and naturally tended to 
fall more and more into Egyptian hands. " With 
the development of trade," writes Milne in his 
summary of the Age of the Antonines, " the 
rate of interest dropped to ten or twelve per 
cent, and the issue of coinage continued to be 
steadily plentiful, while the standard was kept 
up alike in fineness and in weight." 1 New 
quarries were opened in remote valleys of the 
eastern desert : the porphyry then cut may still 
be seen in many museums and churches of Italy, 
and the capitals and columns of the mosques of 
Cairo bear even surer evidence than temple 

1 A History of Egypt under Roman Rule, 1898, p. 66. 

inscriptions to the building activity of this 
time. In the third century a decline set in, 
especially in so far as the agricultural interests 
of the country were concerned, but after the 
reforms of Diocletian there was a temporary 
recovery. 2 

The second of these powers, the Blemyes, 
appear from demotic inscriptions to have formed 
an alien element of intruders scattered about in 
Upper Egypt. Eratosthenes coupled them with 
the Megabari as a tribe living on the east bank 
of the river between Egypt and Meroe, 3 but to 
Pliny 4 they are still mere barbarians. He 
quotes an absurd description of them as a head- 
less race, with mouth and eyes in their chests. 
Shortly after we find them controlling the 
country immediately south of Egypt between 
the Nile and the Red Sea, and in the third 
century these barbarians had become a formid- 
able power in alliance with the rulers of 
Palmyra. At times their wealth was increased 
at the expense of Upper Egypt, but much was 
in all probability got honestly enough by the 
convoy of trade-goods from Berenice and other 
Red Sea ports to the Nile. It is certain that 
in the 5th century or earlier kinglets of the 
Blemyes used the Greek tongue and aped much 
of the complicated ceremonial of a Byzantine 
court. 5 We should therefore revise the first 
impressions derived from ancient historians that 
they were mere marauders whose hand was 
against every man, and the ethnological theory 6 
which connects them with a race so hostile to 
culture as the Boga is a mere theory, at present 
undemonstrated. The rich development of the 
Oases described by Olympiodorus and substan- 
tiated by the extant remains, no less than the 

2 Ik, p. 94. 

3 Strabo, p. 786. 

4 Pliny, H. N., v. c. 8. 

5 Kkall, Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Blemyer und 
Nubier (Abhandluug der Kais. Akademie der Wissen- 
schaften, 1898), p. 6. 


P 2 



fine culture revealed by the excavations of 
Maclver at Aniba, shows that the people who 
controlled this region were a civilized power 
with wide commercial relations and some skill 
in the handicrafts of peace. By virtue of a 
common script and mutual indebtedness to Egypt 
they stand in close relation with the rulers of 
Meroe, and thousdi Meroe had other resources to 
draw upon, and also other dangers to face, the 
two powers follow naturally in the same orbit. 

At Axum, which is still the sacred city of the 
Abyssinians, the conditions were different. The 
rise of Axum coincided, in fact, with the com- 
parative declension of Egypt and of the Nile 
powers under Egyptian influence. At the end 
of the first century of our era Axum was an 
ivory market ruled over by a king called 
Zoskales, who had, according to the author of 
the Periplus, some knowledge of Greek. The 
old ports founded by the Ptolemies had long 
decayed, and the kingly power was not strong 
enough to establish security for traders in Adulis, 
the new port which had taken their place. The 
measures taken by the Romans to secure the 
monopoly of the Eastern trade to their own 
merchants doubtless reacted disastrously upon 
the native states on both sides of the Red Sea. 
Not until the decline of Roman Egypt did the 
native states begin to revive, but the revival 
was all the greater when it came, thanks to the 
widened horizon which the world owed to 
Roman enterprise. Thus in the 4th century 
we find the King of Axum setting up inscrip- 
tions in Greek on which he is styled " by the 
might of the Lord of Heaven king of Axum and 
Himyar and Raydan and Saba and Salhan and 
Siyamo and Boga and Kasu, the King of 
Kings," a ruler whose sway reached over both 
shores of the Red Sea and far inland in Africa. 
Colossal stelai, great palaces, and works of 
engineering remain in Axum and the country 
round to attest the prosperity of the land, and 
these strange works, for which fanciful dates 
have been proposed by their earlier discoverers, 

are now recognized to fall somewhere between 
the years 300-500 a.d. 1 

To turn lastly to Meroe. Through its geo- 
graphical position in the valley of the Nile and 
its remoteness from other civilized powers, the 
fortunes of Meroe were linked primarily with 
the fortunes of Egypt. When Egypt had pros- 
pered under the early Ptolemies, Greek adven- 
turers found their way to Meroe, as we have 
already seen ; and when the Ptolemaic dynasty 
had sunk into decay, Meroe fell into the wretched 
state portrayed by Nero's explorers. With the 
recovery of Egypt under the Flavian and An- 
tonine Emperors, a fresh influx of merchants 
and craftsmen poured down from Egypt into 
the Island of Meroe. The most unmistakable 
proofs of their activity are the architecture of 
the palace at Musawwarat and the Graeco-Roman 
temple at Nagaa, but we should be wrong in 
considering these as the only proofs — the 
pottery, the jewellery, the details of the 
Egyptianized buildings, all clearly betray the 
hand of Europe. The writers have told us 
nothing of this pacific penetration of Meroe, 
but an inscription found at Axum is convincing 
evidence of the strides which Meroe made during 
these centuries. Reminding ourselves once more 
of the Neronian account preserved by Pliny, let us 
look at the Axumite record and see how wonder- 
fully the picture has now been transformed. 

The inscription in question celebrates a suc- 
cessful raid made by Aizana, King of Axum, 
about 350 a.d., against the Nuba who had 
recently conquered the Island of Meroe. It 
seems that a wave of Negro aggression had 
lately surged up from the south and over- 
whelmed the " Red " races established on the 
Island and even north of it. The Blacks had 
captured towns of masonry belonging to the 
Kasu, occupied them and built towns of grass 

1 Littmann and Krencker, Vorbericht der Deutschen 
Aksum-Expcdition, Berlin, 1906 (Abhandl. der Konigl. 
Preuss. Akad. der Wissenschaften), p. 11. 



huts near them, such as the negroes still use ; 
they had harried their neighbours without a 
cause, and three times they had broken their 
word and insulted the envoys of the King of 
Kings, confident that he would never cross the 
Atbara. The king recounts how in revenge he 
had sacked both towns of masonry and towns 
of grass huts, and sent expeditions up and down 
the Nile from the point of its junction with the 
Atbara. He seized their grain and their bronze 
and their iron and their copper (?), and de- 
stroyed the figures in their temples and their 
implements for cultivating (?) dura and cotton. 1 
The moment which had given birth to durable 
monuments and towns of masonry had there- 
fore already passed away, but its passing was 
still recent ; the towns were standing, dura and 
cotton were still being cultivated ; there were 
figures, pictures or statues in the temples, and 
iron and copper to loot. All the accessories 
mentioned in the inscription correspond with 
the conditions postulated by the nature of the 
remains and the secular customs of the country. 
The priests wielded great temporal power as 
they did in Ptolemaic times, and as their suc- 
cessors, the Fikihs, do still. The camel was 
used for riding, and large herds of cattle and 
other stock were kept. But the fact of greatest 
economic importance preserved in this inscrip- 
tion is the introduction of cotton, the modern 
Abyssinian word for which is used in the 
Ethiopian version of this record. From the 
Periplus we know that cotton goods were 
exported from India to Adulis in the first 
century of our era, and hitherto it has been 
generally assumed that the Arabs introduced 
the plant first into the Sudan either from India 
or Persia. In Ancient Egypt it does not appear 
to have been cultivated at all. 2 Its earlier 

1 Littmann and Krencker, I.e., p. 11. 

- Stuhlmann, Beilrage zur Kulturgeschichte von Ost- 
Africa, p. 500, foil., in Deulsch Out- Africa, B. X., Berlin, 

introduction into the Sudan is thus a most 
precious fact, and one that goes far to explain 
the wealth of Meroe at this time. In this in- 
scription the names of several towns are 
mentioned, but of Meroe itself there is no trace. 
May we conclude that it was now called by some 
other name — perhaps, Aloa ? 

Many things are still dark, but the general 
conclusion is surely clear, and it is based on 
facts which are as certain as any facts in the 
ancient history of the world. The Axumite 
inscription shows that in the 4th century Meroe 
had once more fallen on evil days. Egypt had 
again proved a broken reed, and the driving 
force and initiative which had come from Egypt 
in the preceding centuries was no longer to be 
looked for ; but it is equally certain that in the 
preceding centuries this force had come, and left 
permanent signs of its coming. The remains 
that we have described are therefore to be 
regarded as a by-product of the Imperial 
prosperity, directly due to the overflow of 
Romano-Egyptian energy and wealth beyond 
the Imperial boundaries. 

Sect. 3. The Evidence of the Monuments. 

Let us now turn again to the monumental 
remains, and see what we can learn from them 
in the light of the historical setting we have 
just outlined. Monuments and records should 
be mutually complementary unless we have read 
the records wrong. 

The archaeological evidence for the date of 
the remains corroborates our inference from the 
writers. Reasons have been already given for 
assigning the new discoveries to a period not 
earlier than the 2nd century of our era. The 
capital at Basa, the lions at Basa and Umm Soda 
which are so clearly akin to the Roman lions at 
Philae, the full-faced deity at Gebel Geili, are 
all definite indications pointing to such a date. 
There is equally little doubt about the age of 
the ruins at Musawwarat ; the capitals, bases, and 



fluting of the columns in front of the central 
temple have always been recognized as works of 
the later Roman time. The only inland site 
containing buildings which have been with some 
hesitation attributed to an earlier date is Nagaa ; 
at this we must look more closely. 

A first glance at this site suggests that the 
remains are those of an ancient town which was 
occupied for some centuries at least ; the temples 
which are still standing differ greatly in style, 
and further differences are visible in the ground- 
plans of others which have been destroyed. The 
temple B obviously belongs to the Roman period ; 
it contains no inscriptions, and is almost entirely 
Western in style, the only Eastern traits being 
the winged disk over the door, and the couchant 
lions over the central openings in the side walls. 
Temple A, which is close beside it, also clearly 
belongs to the later circle of monuments ; the 
full-faced gods and the predominance of the lion 
are decisive characteristics, and there is no 
reason why these two temples should not have 
been raised in the same decade, one in the 
Egyptian-Meroitic style and the other in the 
Western. But the temple C D on the higher 
slopes appears to be, in parts at least, more 
ancient in plan and decoration ; the ramp, the 
double avenue of rams and the kiosque (C) might 
well be as late as the other temples, but the 
main building behind them (D) is distinctly 
older in type. Can it be Ptolemaic ? There are 
strong reasons for answering this question in 
the negative ; the name of the king who built 
this temple — Netekamon — is the same as the 
name of the king who built temple A. If we 
assume that they are two different persons, the 
first must be carried back before the time of 
Augustus, when we know that the country was 
under the rule of queens called Candace ; but 
there is no evidence either in the shape of great 
mounds or in the reworking of old blocks on 
the later temples, such as we see on the Pyramids 
at Meroe, to justify us on mature consideration 
in assuming that the town was occupied for 

centuries. In spite of first impressions, there- 
fore, I suggest that Temple D was built under 
one of the Flavian emperors or their successors, 
when old Egyptian styles were fashionable in 
Egypt ; that the ramp, the avenue, and the kiosque 
were added and the other temples built, together 
with those that we have studied elsewhere, some 
decades later, after Hadrian's example had led 
to a great and permanent revival of Hellenism 
throughout the valley of the Nile. 1 Fashions in 
building change very rapidly during periods of 
prosperity ; the age we are discussing was a time 
of wealth and learning, when men had the know- 
ledge and the confidence to make experiments ; 
only at such a time could we find buildings so 
various raised side by side on a site where the 
absence of great mounds forbids us to assume 
that they are the work of a long series of 


The chronicles of the kings who lived here 
cannot be written until the scripts which they 
used have been deciphered. We find cartouches 
of the same king and queen at Nagaa, Wad Ban 
Naga, and Amara, 2 and conclude from this that 
the Island of Meroe was for a time under the 
same suzerain as the country between the Second 
and Third Cataracts, and as cartouches of other 
rulers are found both at Meroe and Gebel Barkal, 3 
that this expansion was not confined to a single 
ruler. The lions found on so jmany sites are so 
clearly related to the lions at Philae that we may 
reasonably recognize in one of these rulers a 
benefactor of the Egyptian shrine. The older 
writers on these monuments noted with joy the 
representations of a great queen, and eagerly 
connected them with the rule of Candace ; they 
did not observe that she is accompanied by a king, 
who precedes her in the procession of adoration 
and occupies the south side of the pylon where 
she is most conspicuous (Nagaa A), and that the 

1 See Milne, History of Egypt under Roman Bide, p. 56. 

2 See Budge, ii., p. 119. 
:! Ik, ii., p. 118. 



king alone wears the crown on the back wall of 
the same temple ; that of the Pyramids at Meroe 
three-quarters of those bearing cartouches are in 
honour primarily of kings or princes, and that 
the others obviously need not celebrate queens 
who were sole rulers, while at Gebel Geili the 
king is represented alone. I conclude that in 
its ancient form the dynasty of Candace was 
already ended, that kings now held the first 
place, and that the honours of equal represen- 
tation paid to the queen consort are a reflex of 
the honours paid in Rome to a Sabina or a 
Faustina, congenial withal to African feminism. 

The religion of these rulers is quite obscure. 
The prominence of the lion-god, who may have 
been also a sun-god, suggests a cult foreign to 
the old Egyptian forms of worship, and yet the 
presence of the lions at Philae in the temple of 
Isis shows that some accommodation had been 
reached between the two religious groups. We 
cannot reconcile, again, the pyramids and the 
pyramid texts at Meroe with any of the burial 
rites described by Strabo and Diodorus as 
practised in these parts during the Ptolemaic 
age ; and the little tapering pyramids are clearly 
to be compared, not with the venerable structures 
of Middle Egypt, but with the pretentious tombs 
of the Roman period found in Syria and Asia 

We can speak with a little more confidence 
about the material culture of the land and its 
connection with other relics from elsewhere. 
The reliefs on Temple A at Nagaa introduce us 
bo a royal family which displayed a truly African 
delight in jewels and fine raiment, and in 
advertising by the length of their nails a 
superiority to manual toil ; the king and queen 
wear necklaces and pendants, armlets and 
bracelets, and rings upon their fingers and in 
their ears, while the princes are arrayed in long 
tunics flowered with crosses (signs of life ?), 
crescents and other designs. The jewellery 
discovered by Ferlini proves the accuracy of the 
representations ; the source from which gold- 

smiths and jewellers drew their inspiration is 
palpably the contemporary work in Roman 
Egypt. The pottery found hitherto is too frag- 
mentary to enable us to form an accurate con- 
ception of its merits, but from a technical stand- 
point the small pieces which I have picked up at 
Basa and Gebel Geili and Musawwarat seem to 
me to reach a very high standard ; the clay is 
usually whitish-grey in colour, finely levigated 
and evenly fired, the walls of the vases were 
thin and the decorations carefully laid on. Two 
fragments from Musawwarat are of particular 
interest, because they are decorated with im- 
pressed crescents ; the impression of designs is, 
like the application of ornamental details, charac- 
teristic of later Roman pottery, and the crescent 
we have already seen on the robes of a prince at 
Nagaa. The blue and green faience found in the 
Pyramid chapels at Meroe both in colour and 
decoration belong to the same age. In spite of 
its general connection with Roman styles, I 
regard both pottery and faience as of local fabric, 
and I have not been able to recognize the peculiar 
traits of the pottery found by Maclver at Aniba 
anywhere south of Suarda near Solib. 1 

Enough has, perhaps, been already said about 
the different elements to be distinguished in the 
architecture of the temples at Nagaa and Basa, 
but hardly any reference has yet been made to 
the palace of Musawwarat, which is by far the 
most beautiful and original of all these southern 
remains. It is a great complex of buildings, laid 
out on a single plan, and built almost entirely at 
one time ; a few years later some very slight 
modifications were made, and the plan was com- 
pleted on the same broad lines, but with stones 
less perfectly dressed. There is a central hall or 
temple set upon a raised platform, on which stood 
two rows of pillars in front of the chamber and 
a colonnade on the other sides ; at two corners 

1 See, however, Aretha, by Randall-Maclver and Woolley 
("Oxford, 1909), p. 41, and Plate 29, where the crescent and 
cross both reappear. 



of the platform were towers, and on the back 
wall of the cella a single line of inscription in 
cursive letters. The columns are obviously late, 
and the deep-cut reliefs which decorated the 
lower drums of those in front resemble the deep- 
cut, almost free reliefs on the central slab in the 
back wall of the chapel of the great pyramid at 
Meroe (No. 11, Budge), which is now in frag- 
ments at Khartoum. This central hall was 
connected by ramps and narrow passages with 
outlying temples or rooms, and the surrounding 
grounds were divided by low walls into court- 
yards for attendants, slaves, herds or flocks. 
Along the narrow passages the king and his 
womenfolk could move unseen between walls 
from one part of the palace to another : even in 
the desert the Oriental's love of privacy did not 
desert him. Elsewhere in the valley which 
contains this palace there are the usual reservoirs 
and other temples with interesting reliefs drawn 
by Lepsius ; on the side of the valley farthest 
from the palace I found the bare foundations of 
another small chapel which appears not to have 
been noted before ; the stones for all these 
buildings were quarried from one of the hills in 
the middle of the valley. But these other 
remains resemble in a degree the temples we can 
study elsewhere ; the palace is unique, and there 
is no parallel to it to be found in Egypt. The 
only buildings, in fact, which I think might 
possibly be compared with it are certain remains 
in Axum recently published by Littmann and 
Krencker ; 1 the love of raised platforms ap- 
proached by flights of steps or ramps, of towers 
with steps such as may have existed at Musaw- 
warat, and of rooms with internal columns is 
common to both, but with these the resemblances 
end. Until excavations have been made at 
Musawwarat, and further details about the old 
sites in Abyssinia and Eritrea have been pub- 

1 Vorbericht der Deutschcn Aksum-Expedition, Berlin, 
1906 (Abhandlungen der Konigl. Preuss. Akademie der 
Wissenschaften), p. 23, foil. 

lished, it will be wise to suspend our judgment. 
I hold that the connection between the archi- 
tecture of Abyssinia and the Sudan in later days 
is proved by the exact resemblance of the plan 
of the upper storey in the Old Dongola church 
with the plan of Enda Giorgis near Adowa, 2 and 
if a similar connection could be proved in earlier 
days for Musawwarat, I should regard the 
Axumites as the borrowers. The love of raised 
buildings with flights of steps leading to the 
upper storey on the roof is characteristic of several 
Sudan churches besides Old Dongola, such as 
Wadi Ghazal near Merawi, and Figirantou near 
Gemai, and is natural enough in a hot country 
where the breezes are cool and fairly constant. 

The existence of this palace and the other 
temples in the desert throws an interesting 
light upon the nature of these rulers of Meroe. 
The cultivation of desert valleys or " Atmurs " 
is possibly older, but generations of men have 
planted and grazed there, and have felt no more 
need of solid habitations than do their descen- 
dants to-day. These palaces and temples answered 
no necessary end : they cannot have been occupied 
much longer in the year than is a shooting box in 
Scotland, and perhaps for the same months ; their 
makers were never buried near them (unless the 
platform at Musawwarat covers a tomb) ; they 
were in fact the superfluous works of a dynasty 
great in peace and prosperity. They were 
useful, no doubt, for a short period in the year, 
and the huge reservoirs served a very practical 
end, but this practical end was pursued in the 
manner we have seen only because it was agree- 
able to certain idiosyncrasies in the blood of the 
rulers or of the age to which they belonged. 
Did they inherit from a line of nomad ancestors 
this love of the pleasant desert valleys far 
removed from the cities by the river, like the 
Caliph Walid II. or the Khedive Abbas I. ? 3 Or 

2 lb., p. 35, fig. 44. 

3 Moritz, Ausfliige in der Arabia Petraea, 1908, p. 430, 
in Melanges de la Faculte Orientale de VUniversite Saint 
Joseph (Beyrouth), III. 



shall we compare them to the Blue Sultans of 
Sermar, who used to migrate during the summer 
rains to a high gravelly ridge midway between 
the Blue and the White Niles where now stand 
the villages of Mongala ? Or were they the 
outcome of the same spirit of materialistic 
ostentation which has left so many proofs of its 
vulgarity in Syria and elsewhere ? We cannot 
answer these questions, because we know nothing 
certainly of the ethnic connections of the rulers, 
but this- trait seems to distinguish them sharply 
from the unventuresome river-huo-ging dwellers 
by the lower Nile. 

This dynasty, as we have seen, passed away 
before the middle of the 4th century of our 
era, and the country fell for a time at least under 
the power of black tribes of lower culture. With 
this change comes a cessation of all building in 
the interior, although cultivation may have 
continued as before. The change came rapidly 
and without observation ; in the quarry on the 
hill above Nagaa, from which the stones of the 
temples were cut, are large blocks almost 
detached from their beds, but left as if the order 
to cut and lower had been suddenly cancelled. 
On the river-banks there was no such complete 
disruption ; many characteristics of the delicate 

pottery found upon these sites recur on the finer 
wares to be seen at Christian sites such as Wadi 
Ghazal and Firgi, which flourished especially 
between the 8th and 10th centuries of our 
era. With the Chris tianization of the country 
all the gains of indigenous and imported culture 
were not lost, much persisted, as did many a less 
pleasing social custom, but the persistence was 
confined to the valley of the Nile ; in the 
uplands the moment which had created houses 
and temples of masonry in remote valleys came 
probably and ended with a single dynasty. 
Hence it is that upon these sites there are no 
great mounds, because there were no secondary 
occupations worthy of the title. Some Christian 
travellers or anchorites scrawled their names 
upon one of the temples at Musawwarat, a 
miserable family built themselves a shelter in 
the forecourt of the temple at Basa ; otherwise 
for loner centuries the ruins have remained 
exposed to the ravages of rain and wind and 
sand, and known only to nomad Arabs, who 
loved to make their own cemeteries near what 
they imagined to be the work of Anag giants 
from whom their ancestors had wrested possession 
of the land. 




By F. Ll. GRIFFITH, M.A., 


G 2 



The materials for the present memoir are based largely on Lepsius's publication of the Meroitic 
inscriptions of Naga, Benaga, and Meroe in Abtlieilung V. of the Denkmaler, checked by the 
photographs of Professor Breasted's Chicago expedition to the Sudan of 1907, and in many cases 
by the originals which I was able to collate in a visit to Nubia and the Sudan on behalf of the 
Egypt Exploration Fund in December and January 1909-10. For the editing and decipherment 
of the inscriptions I have had the great advantage of working concurrently on the other known 
materials ; a large part of these will appear in the next memoir, while about fifty texts from 
temples and tombs at Meroe have been published in Professor Garstang's Meroe, the City of 
the Ethiopians, 1909-10, and no less than a hundred and fifty funerary inscriptions, found by 
Dr. Kandall-MacIver and Mr. Woolley at Karanog and Shablul in Lower Nubia, are forthcoming 
in a special publication of the Eckley B. Coxe Expedition from Philadelphia. The last-mentioned 
work, entitled Meroitic Inscriptions from ShatMd and Karanbg, will show the grounds on which 
the decipherment of Meroitic is based, and the inscriptions in it are frequently referred to in 
this memoir as Shah, or Kar., with the distinctive numbers following. 

The inscriptions published here are confined to those written in the Meroitic character, 
whether hieroglyphic or demotic ; at the same time the local inscriptions in Egyptian hieroglyphic 
and demotic which contain Ethiopian or Meroitic proper names, or other information that seems 
useful for the subject, are duly noticed. 

For help in the delightful but laborious task of collecting the inscriptions included in this 
volume my thanks are due to many friends. The Committee of the Egypt Exploration Fund in 
authorising my costly journey to Berlin and the Sudan placed the best original sources within 
my reach. At Berlin, Professor Erman and Professor Schaefer put at my disposal for copying 
and publication the unique collections of originals and squeezes obtained in Lepsiqs's expedition 
and preserved at the Museum, and gave me every facility for studying them, while Dr. Moller 
and Dr. Ranke were untiring in removing all the material difficulties of the work. Professor 
Breasted had previously given me full permission to study his magnificent collections of 
photographs deposited with the Berlin Academy, and again in England my wife and 1 have 
made much use of them in revising the copies and drawings of Naga and Meroe, as well as in 


describing the inscribed shrines of the pyramids. Professor Littmann most kindly communicated 
to me his revised translation of the long Axumite inscription recording how Aeizanes, king of 
Axum, overran the Meroitic and Nubian kingdoms in the fourth century A.D., and destroyed 
their cities ; it is to be hoped that his exhaustive publication of the Axumite inscriptions will not 
be long delayed. In the Sudan the Governor-General (Sir F. R. Wingate) and Mr. Currie were 
most kind in furthering our purpose, and Mr. Drummond acted as our indispensable guide, not 
only in the Museum at Khartum, but also on our journeys to Wad Benaga, Naga, and Meroe. 
In Egypt, Mr. Crowfoot agreed to publish in this volume the instructive narratives of his 
explorations within the Island of Meroe and an illuminating essay upon its history, and provided 
me with photographs and squeezes of inscriptions taken at various times by himself and 
Mr. Drummond. Mr. John Ward gave me permission to reproduce his two excellent photographs 
of the inscribed ram brought from Soba to Khartum, and Dr. Budge has allowed me to publish 
an inscription upon the wall of a shrine from Meroe which he transported to the British 
Museum. Finally, Professor Ed. Naville, as the literary executor of Lepsius, has authorised the 
publication of some notes of provenance taken from the precious Tagebiicher (preserved at 
Berlin), in which the great archaeological traveller and philologist recorded his observations 
from day to day. To all these gentlemen I desire to express my hearty thanks. 



No Meroitic inscriptions have hitherto been 
found in Egypt north of the First Cataract, nor 
in the Sudan southwards of Soba on the Blue 
Nile. They have nowhere been recorded west 
of the valley of the Nile, nor far eastward, 
whether on the shores of the Ked Sea or amongst 
the graffiti of caravans and gold miners in the 
desert. Their most easterly locality is at present 
Umm Soda in the Island of Meroe, about one 
hundred miles from the Nile. The Meroitic 
alphabet thus belongs strictly to the Nile valley 
of Nubia, together with the rich pastures and 
fields watered by rains and reservoirs between 
the Atbara and the Blue Nile, which, being 
enclosed by rivers on three sides, was known as 
the Island of Meroe. In at least the northern 
part of this region the Meroitic writing was 
preceded by the Egyptian in all its varieties, 
hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic, and at the 
fall of paganism it was displaced by Greek and 
by alphabets founded on the Greek. During 
the period when Meroitic writing flourished, 
the rulers of Axum on the south-east in 
Abyssinia were using three alphabets, Greek, 
South Arabian, and their peculiar Ge'ez, and on 
the north the Egyptians likewise used their 
native scripts together with Greek. The rest of 
the surrounding populations, the negroes of the 
Upper Nile and the "Hamites" of the eastern 
and western deserts, were probably all too 
barbarous or unsettled to employ writing to any 
considerable extent. At the mines and on the 
n.iiies of the northern Etbai desert, inscriptions 

have been found in Egyptian (hieroglyphic and 
demotic), Greek and Latin, South Arabian and 
Nabatsean, but none in Meroitic, which seems 
thus to have been the monopoly of the agricul- 
tural population of the Meroitic kingdoms and 
of their rulers. 

The present volume contains the Meroitic 
inscriptions of the south-eastern region, the 
Island of Meroe from the Blue Nile to the 
Atbara, and thence northward to the Fifth 
Cataract. This region, centred in Meroe or in 
Soba, is separated by deserts and cataracts from 
the north-west, with its capital at Napata or at 

Cailliaud was the first traveller to notice the 
Meroitic inscriptions in this region. He pub- 
lished only three, all in the demotic character, 
from Musauwarat es-Sufra and the pyramids of 
Meroe. The first to copy the hieroglyphic in- 
scriptions seems to have been Major Felix, an 
Italian officer, who accompanied Lord Prudhoe 
to the Sudan in 1829. His drawings 1 include 
most of the royal cartouches, but the copies are 
unsatisfactory, and preserve little or nothing 
that Lepsius did not see or copy far more 
accurately in 1843-4. The Prussian expedition 
under Lepsius almost exhausted the visible 
scenes and inscriptions throughout the region, 

1 MS. 25,651 (of James Burton) in the British Museum 
contains several duplicate copies of Meroite cartouches 
and inscriptions from Naga, the pyramids of Meroe, Gebel 
Barkal, and Amara, taken from the papers of Major Felix. 



and laid bare much new material by clearances 
and excavation. Since 1844 new finds have 
been exceedingly rare, down to Prof. Garstang's 
excavations of 1909-10 on the site of Meroe. 
The published additions were, in 1894 a copy 
by Dumichen of the inscribed ram of Soba, and 
in 1909 the cartouches of the Ba'sa lion by 
Prof. Sayce from Mr. Crowfoot's materials. 
Mr. Crowfoot's explorations, without financial 

support, could do little more (from the point of 
view of inscriptions) than find sites for future 
excavation. It was high time, however, that a 
revision of Lepsius's copies was undertaken, 
and the newer acquisitions incorporated with 
the old. It is to be hoped that henceforth 
annual excavations will produce an annual 
harvest of inscriptions. 




initial aleph or a 









h (kh) 







h (kh) 












i (sh) 










A, A 
































stop to separate words 

The varieties of the demotic alphabet are described as Archaic (before 25 B.C.?), Transitional (between 25 B.C. 
and 250 a.d.?), or Late (250 to 400 a.dJ). The dates suggested rest on slender, but not negligible, evidence (see 
Meroitic Inscriptions from Shablul and Karanog, Introduction, Chapter II.). Mr. Crowfoot's essay was written two 
years ago, before the recent discoveries ; but it may be that the conclusions reached by him above (pp. 37-41), 
confining the Meroitic monuments to the brief period from the second to the middle of the fourth century a.d., 
will prove to be nearer the truth. 





On the right or northern bank of the Blue 
Nile, fourteen miles S.E. of Khartum, are the 
ruins of Soba, capital of the old Christian king- 
dom of 'Aiwa. In May, 1821, they were visited 
by Cailliaud, accompanying the Egyptian ex- 
pedition which conquered the Sudan ; but he 
found only heaps of rubbish and few remains of 
stone. Stone is rare in the neighbourhood, and 
with the force of the heavy rains the ruins of 
the red tile buildings had lost their shape. At 
about the middle of the site he observed a ram 
figure about l| metres in length. 1 In 1844 
Lepsius saw or obtained at Soba itself and at 
Khartum several antiquities which had been 
found in the ruins, the most important being 
a tombstone of Christian period inscribed on 
both sides in early Nubian, and fragments of 
a remarkable bronze vessel of openwork with 
similar lettering ; also a large granite figure of 
Osiris seated and a classical statuette of Venus. 
Curiously enough he does not mention the 
existence of the ram. At the time of his visit 
the site was already being exploited for building 
materials for Khartum. In 1848 the architect 
Tremaux noted " un piedestal surmonte d'un 
be'licr taille en forme de sphinx " as being 
the only relic he could find there from the 

1 Voyage a Meroe, ii., p. 203. 

epoch of paganism, and figures it and other 
relics. 2 

In his first account Tremaux does not mention 
any inscription, but when publishing the narrative 
of his voyage in 1863 he enumerates the visible 
antiquities, Christian columns and capitals, and 
the ram with its pedestal inscribed in hiero- 
glyphic. 3 In 1863 J. Dumichen saw most of 
the objects described by Tremaux still in 
position (and apparently cleared them), and 
made drawings of the ram and other things. 4 
The ram was taken by Gordon to Khartum, 
apparently with the idea that it was the 
emblematic Lamb of Christianity. There it was 
seen by Mr. John Ward in the gardens of the 
palace. 5 It is now in the War Office. Except 
that the head is broken off (though preserved), 
it appears to be in much the same condition as 
when Tremaux drew it. Both Tremaux and 
Dumichen show a shrine-shaped pedestal, on 
which the ram lay. 6 

2 Tremaux, Parallelc des edifices anciens ct modernes du 
continent Africain, 1852-8, PI. 51. I owe this reference to 
Miss Bertha Porter. 

:i Voyage en Ethiopie, ii., pp. 82-3 (of. i., p. 295). 

4 Zur Geographic des alten Aegypten, PI. vi. Cf. Zeit. f. 
Aeg. Spr., i., 53. 

5 John Ward, Our Sudan, pp. 127, 132, 142. 

6 Dumichen's drawing is evidently modelled on Weiden- 
bach's drawing of the rams of Naga (L., D., V. 71 a-c), 
and is very incorrect. 

H 2 



1. On base of kneeling ram. The head, broken 
off at the shoulders and replaced, is much in- 
jured, Amnion - horns traceable. Body very 
plump, tail thick, wool in broad leaf-shaped 
lappets. 1 The feet remain of a small figure 
which stood against the chest, as with the rams 
of the Amnion temples at Naga and Meroe. 
Base 1-38 m. x about "60 (4 ft. 6 x 2 ft.), all 
corners injured, and only a few characters 
remaining on the right side. 2 

The copies of J. Dumichen (1863), Zur 
Geographie, PI. vi. (fairly correct in spacing), 
and J. Ward, Our Sudan, p. 142, were collated 
with the original in January, 1910. The in- 
scription seems to be no worse now than it was 
in 1863. 3 

1-klP^[^A 9 ]>f [ U^Ws 


The first § remaining appeared to have been 
in the centre of the front, to judge by the feet 
of the statuette against the chest and by 
measurement. There would thus have been 
room for about seven signs before the ra. Pre- 
sumably some Egyptian title such as sQs 
would have preceded the cartouche. The 7^. 
latter seems to fall into two halves, the first 

ending with p s , re. The second half, 

|^Ped(IA Qerem, occurs apparently as the title 
of the deceased on the tombstone Kar. 45, and 
again in the name, 5W )Soo$D Qeremye, of the 
father in Shab. 2. 4 

■¥- follows the cartouche, but there is room for 
something above it, and there are traces beyond 
of a sign or signs difficult to identify. These 
may possibly represent the Egyptian -¥-^1, 
" living for ever," more or less blundered. 

1 Cf. Hartmann, A. Z., 2/24. 

2 See PI. XV., from Mr. John Ward's photographs. 

3 PI. XVI. 

4 These and similar references are to my Meroitic 
Inscriptions of Shablul and Karanog, to appear in the 
series of the publications of the University of Philadelphia. 

\ pE3| strongly suggests that (Sq£5A, the 
usual title of the king, followed the cartouche as 
elsewhere. I have noted space only for one sign 
at the corner, but either £?A may have been 
written close together, or possibly A may have 
stood after the \ on the front where the indis- 
tinct traces are. \ ^x>(5^ 3^^^' beginning 
with the name of Ammon, occurs in the royal 
title at Kalabsha 94/1 (compare also the 
queen's title in 4). 

The next two words form a phrase similar to 
those associated with divine names at Naga 
(below, nos. 6 et seqq.) and Meroe [Meroe, 5 5f>, 
16). The name of Ammon follows, and the 
signs remaining on the left side are suggestive 
of a similar phrase. One may perhaps restore 
the passage thus : — 

j ra]<3>^:2>[^r: 1fl£-2*k 
the name of the god with his locality, " Ammon 
in . . . .," being sandwiched between two of these 
phrases, which are of a type found also in the 
" formulae " or benedictions of the funerary 
inscriptions (see especially the early ones in 
Meroe). The last phrase, with n5 for :s>, is 
in 3, 4, 6 below. It looks like a plural, and, if 
so, might refer to both king and queen. SV ) 
is also a known collocation of signs. 

After these phrases one more group would 
complete the inscription. 

Thus the text appears to consist of the name 
of a king with some epithets, and a dedication 
to Amnion with complimentary phrases or 

This ram seems to prove that there existed at 
Soba a temple of Ammon, as at Naga and Meroe, 
where similar rams lined the avenue to the 
temples of Ammon. At any rate, it is evident 
that Christian Soba stood on the site of a pagan 
city, and its name seems connected with \4crra- 

5 i.e. Meroe,, the City of the Ethiojnans, 1909-10, by John 
Garstang, A. H. Savce, and F. LI. Griffith. 



cro/3a<;, the name of the Blue Nile in Strabo. 1 
The pagan 'Aiwa of the inscription of the 
Axumite king Aeizanes, which gave its name to 
the Christian province, probably lay farther to 

1 Dillmann, Anfange des Axumitischen Reichs, pp. 183-4. 

the north, and perhaps at Meroe itself. Daro, 
the Aapuv of Ptolemy, is placed by the latter 
northward of the junction with his AcrTairov; 
(Blue Nile) ; but the ancient geography of this 
part of the world is uncertain enough to leave it 
open to identification with Soba. 


On Gebel Qeli, an outstanding mass of granite 
in the desert due east from Khartum, with 
traces of an ancient settlement near by, 1 is a 
remarkable sculpture of a king and the Sun- 
god, accompanied by two Meroitic cartouches 

See above, pp. 24, 25. 

(2), which unfortunately are hardly legible on 
the small photograph. 2 

The signs face to the right in the original. 
Most are doubtful ; if the first cartouche is 
rightly read, it i& the name of the prince at 
Amara (see Part II., no. 84), but the reading is too 
uncertain to serve as the basis for any argument. 

2 PL XIV., fig. 2. 








A v 

E3 ? 









E3 V 


V ^ 




Naga, properly En-naq', ^j-M, "the plain," 
is the name of a place in the desert S.E. of 
Shendi, marked by a group of temples (El- 
Musawwarat), with remains of reservoirs. The 
temples are better preserved here than anywhere 
else in the Sudan. A large area was filled with 
houses, ill-constructed of thin slabs of sandstone, 
for want of clay to make tiles : they have simply 
collapsed, and are for the most part shapeless 
heaps of which the plan is seldom traceable 
without excavation. Here, too, there are signs 
of larger buildings, from which the stones have 
been removed. It seems probable that the older 
temples had been plundered for later construc- 
tions ; but where stone was so abundant little 
injury was done to the more massive buildings, 
which moreover were somewhat outlying. Thus 
several temples have escaped destruction. When 
once the Meroitic empire had passed away, the 
reservoirs were no longer cared for, and the town 
ceased to be inhabited. 

Cailliaud was the first to explore and map 
the site, 1 plan the temples, and draw the 
sculptures. Lepsius's expedition repeated his 
work 2 with more exactitude, and in addition 
copied practically all the inscriptions except 
the graffiti: they also found a statue of Amen- 
hotp II. of the XVIIIth Dynasty, which had 

probably been brought to the spot by the 

Naga is the chief storehouse of texts in 
Meroite hieroglyphic. The copies here pub- 
lished were studied first from Lepsius's drawings, 
and checked by photographs of Prof. Breasted's 
expedition. The latter are nearly complete, and 
are admirable for the sculptures, but in this case 
require much supplementing for the inscriptions. 
The results were profitably collated with the 
originals for the most part in January, 1910. 
The engraving of the Meroite hieroglyphs and 
the spacing of the signs are excessively careless, 
and when the soft sandstone in which they are 
engraved has decayed or been injured, it is 
particularly difficult to decide the reading from 
the fragmentary signs and groups. An ac- 
quaintance with the general forms of Meroitic 
words and comparison of parallel passages only 
gradually brings out what is probable. The study 
of the whole mass of known texts, and especially 
the temple inscriptions of Prof. Garstang's finds 
at Meroe, has thrown much light on the texts of 
Naga, and now a further collation of the originals 
might produce some new readings of interest. 

Four temples, or portions of temples, are still 
standing, each of them with inscriptions of some 
kind. 3 

The Temple of the Lion-god (temple a of Lepsius). 

This is the westernmost of the four temples. 
It faces to the south-east, and consists of a 

1 Cailliaud, Voyage a Meroe, i., PI. xi. 

2 L., D., I., Bl. 143. 

pylon-shaped facade with a single chamber or 
court behind it, narrower than the pylon. There 
appears to have been a small portico in front 

3 See the plan of part of the ruins on PI. XVI. 



of the pylon, and the roof of the court, pro- 
bably of wood and reeds, was upheld by 
four columns ; but the columns (which may 
have been of wood) and the portico are both 

The Pylon. 

Breasted, photo 506 (left half), 507 (right 
half); Cailliadd, Voyage a Meroe, i., PI. xvi. ; 
L., D., V., Bl. 56 (restored). 

On each tower is a scene * of the slaying of 
prisoners, on the left, or southern, by the king, 
on the right, or northern, by the queen, each 
accompanied by a lion. Over the king flies a 
hawk with spread wings wearing the pschent Yj, 
and holding a ring or diadem in its talons, over 
the obese queen a vulture (imperfect) holding a 
similar ring. Beneath each scene is a row of 
seven kneeling prisoners with blank shields over 
their bodies. 

In front of and above the head of the king 
and queen are inscriptions 3, 4, each consisting 
of three columns in Meroite hieroglyphic. 2 Two 
qualities of stone being used and intermingled 
in the building, one block may be deeply worn 
and pitted, while the next may have every 
incision almost as sharp as on the day it was 
cut. This is the case here. On each tower 
the inscription begins at the top of a block 
of bad stone, and is carried down to a better 
one below. The upper block on the left has 
more traces of writing than that on the right, 
in which even the division lines are scarcely 

The inscriptions on each tower, so far as 
they have survived, are identical, except the 
cartouches in the centre. Probably each car- 
touche was surmounted by an Egyptian royal 
title. On the rest of the temple the only 
cartouches are those of Kino; Natakamani, 
Queen Amanitere, and the prince accompany- 
ing them. The first two of these would suit 

and T 

r^\ r~-\ 






the lacunae admirably, making 
A careful examination with a 
good ladder might establish 
these readings, for which there 
seems in fact some justification 
in the photograph of the car- 
touche on the left. 

The king's name was thus 
followed by his title, S ? s3A 
qere (or |Se)£?A), and the 
queen's by a title .a^p^ r3>1^. ? 
katakel — like the king's title 
Amanitakel in 1 and 94. As 
the _2a> is probably a suffix, 
this Katake reminds one of 
KavSdxr), Candace, which is said by Pliny to 
have been a constant name of the queens of 
Meroe. 3 In collating the original with a ladder 
of insufficient height, I was inclined to read ^x> 
for the first "|s», but both the photograph and 
Lepsius's copy support ^». 

Of the side lines, the first seems to give 

^-Sararalv » a ^ these letters except ^ 

being visible on either side (the ^ is from my 
collation, but is not well supported by the 
photograph). This should mean " in . . . mte," 
but I do not recognize the locality elsewhere. 
Possibly Telakte (of the titles of the ram-headed 
Ammon, no. 24, etc.) was the name. The third 
line gives ra<3>^m^(]()( : ^flO-fea^, as in 
the inscription of Apezemak, the lion-god (no. 6), 
and of the hawk-headed god following him (no. 7). 

The chief deity of the temple was Apezemak, 
but it may be doubted whether the first and 
third lines refer to him or to the bird-gods which 
hover over the heads of the king and queen. 

On each of the outer sides of the pylon, facing 
north and south, is sculptured a snake, with 
human arms, lion's head, and the triple crown of 
Apezemak issuing from a conventional flower 
(L., D., II., 60 c, Breasted, photo 518), and on 
the back of each tower, between the outer corner 

3 See below, p. 80. 



and the side walls of the temple, the shaft of the 
lion-standard of Apezemak transfixes a bound 
prisoner (L., D., II., 60 b; Breasted, photo 517). 1 

The Walls of the Temple. 

The walls behind the pylon are about 3^ 
metres or 12| feet high, and have formerly been 
crowned with a projecting stone cornice, which, 
with the columns, supported the roof and pro- 
tected the sculpture and inscriptions. But all 
the cornice stones except one have fallen, and 
the shallow inscriptions on the external faces, 
being near the top, have been particularly 
exposed to wear and other injury. 

On the proper right or south wall gods, and 
on the north wall goddesses, are figured giving 
life to the three royalties, and on the back wall 
a triple-headed lion-god in the centre distributes 
his favours to the royalties on either side, 
apparently in male and female character re- 
spectively. The figures from the top of the 
head to the bottom of the feet are 2^ metres or 
8 feet high. 2 

The Royalties. 

On the south wall (Oailliaud, Voyaye, i., 
PI. xvii. ; L., D., V., 61, 62; Breasted, photos 
513-516), the king, facing Apezemak and the 
other gods, wears the crown of Apezemak, 
and the uraeus on the diadem has the lion's 
head and crown, but a figure of the ram-headed 
Amnion hangs at his waist. On the king's face 
are signs of short whiskers and beard. The 
obese queen, with long nails as in all her repre- 
sentations here, wears a simpler diadem with 
the uraeus of Apezemak. The prince has the 
appearance of youth, with a simple diadem 
having the head of Apezemak in front. 

On the north wall (Cailliaud, PL xvii. ; L., D., 
V., 57, 58 ; Breasted, photos 508, 509), facing 
Isis and the goddesses, the king and queen 

1 Both devices are shown on PI. XVII. 

2 These scenes are given in outline on Pis. XVIII., XX. 

respectively wear the atef crown of Osiris and 
the horns and disk of Isis ; each seems to have an 
Ammon-head pendant on the breast. The head- 
dress of the prince is lost, but it is clear that he 
did not wear the side lock of the young Horus. 

On the back wall (Cailliaud, PI. xviii. ; 
L., D., V., 59, 60 a; Breasted, photos 510-512) 
the headdresses of the royalties are the same as 
on the North wall, but the king and queen hold 
the sceptre which is seen on the South wall. 

(On the pylon the queen wears a cap sur- 
mounted by a hawk-headed sphinx with double 
uraeus, crowned with Hathor horns and feathers. 
The king's cap is much injured.) 

Before each figure of the king and queen was 
engraved a cartouche, and two cartouches on a 
kind of banner or panel before the prince. 3 They 
are best preserved on the back wall (nos. 17, 20). 4 

The king's name, P$ZE|^:2>Z$) Natak- 
Amani, and the queen's name, \ (Sqc^I^^J 

Amani-tere, are very frequently found in asso- 
ciation. There seem to be at least two such 
pairs, an earlier pair who affected Egyptian 
writing and Egyptian prenomens even in 
Meroitic writing, the other, as here, in the full 
development of the Meroitic style. The names 
of both king and queen are compounded with 
that of Amnion. %. 2>w in the king's name 
occurs in the inscriptions of the goddesses here 
(nos. 12-16 and 18), and in a woman's name at 
Karanog, and perhaps is to be seen in the name 
of Candace. (Sqc^ in the queen's name is not 
known as a separate word ; possibly her name is 
compounded of (^-d)^-^/Q. and SujS^.. 

The prince's cartouches are preserved only on 
the back and south walls. They are widely 

3 The inscriptions on the walls are shown in Pis. XIX., 

4 It is remarkable that, while all the rest of the inscrip- 
tions on the temple are incised, nos. 5, 6 and 9 on the 
South wall have the characters in relief on a sunk ground. 
Probably the latter method was found to be too laborious, 
and was abandoned for the simpler method of incising. 



spaced apart, but joined by horizontal lines as if 
they were represented to be on a panel or flag. 
Both are written in Meroitic. They resemble 
the three cartouches of the prince from the 
"Sun temple" at Meroe' [Meroe, no. 2), where 
the first contains the name, and the other two 
the titles ; but to judge by the direction of the 
signs in the present case the title has to be read 
first. £?.&&E) 2»b ABB, with the usual ter- 
mination £?_2a>, may mean " the great (?) jpaqar" 
paqar being a high dignity frequently mentioned. 
I do not know of a parallel instance of E) 3 in 
composition, unless the male title **~uj •) 5 lo\Jj 
can be compared, or the epithet *i~tuujp5 /). 

The second cartouche is Arika - kha - rer, 
JSAt^Ss^^^ra^J, with the common 

honorific (?) termination / 1). The first element 
is seen in the name of the prince Araka-kha-tani 
on the temple of Amnion, 1 and the whole name 
occurs (earlier?) in Egyptian hieroglyphic on 
the shrine of Pyr. A 16 of Meroe (L., B.,V., 43), 
( (j <=> ^^* /wwvs <rr> .^s J Arika-na-kka-rer, with 
only the slight difference of an added n. Areka- 
zakhete, a name in Kar. 61, may also be compared. 
For the princely ending bQb see no. 49. 

Above the cartouches were titles borrowed 
from Egyptian, but, except on the back wall 

(16, 19), they are destroyed. Here jjj^ is the 
title of the king and queen, while the prince 
is jQL 

The Deities. 

On the south wall the three royalties ap- 
proach a series of gods, and on the North wall 
(apparently in the assumed characters of Osiris, 
Isis, and Horus) a series of goddesses. These 
group themselves thus : — 

South wall. North wall. 

1 Lion-god Apezemak 2 ) 1 Isis 

2 Haroeris or Harmakhis 

See below, p. 63. 

See Meroe, PI. i. and p. 63. 

3 Amnion 1 2 Muth 

4 Khons { 

( 3 Negro-goddess 
I 4 Hathor 

5 Khnum 5 Satis. 

Thus, when we have combined the two series, 
Apezemak, the equivalent of Show (Sos) or 
Arsenuphis, and Isis form a triad with Har- 
makhis, Apezemak replacing Osiris. 3 Ammon, 
Muth, and Khons, the triad of Thebes, follow, 
and then two goddesses, and Khnumis with 
Satis of the Cataract gods. 

The gods on the south wall are represented 
thus : — 

6. Apezemak, lion-headed, crowned with triple 
bundle and feathers on horns. He holds in one 
hand a standard surmounted by a lion similarly 

crowned and a bouquet (?), 4 and in the other ■¥-. 

7. Haroeris, or Harmakhis, hawk - headed, 
wearing disk and uraeus and pschent, £/, and 
holding in one hand | with ©I — issuing from it, 
and in the other ■¥-. 

8. Ammon, ram - headed, wearing Ammon 
plumes and disk on horns, and holding the same 
emblems as 7. 

9. Khons, human-headed, as mummy wearing 
lunar disk, holding before him the same emblems 
as the others, together with J\ and [ . 

10. Khnum, ram-headed, wearing a crown of 
a bundle of reeds between plumes on horns, arid 
holding the same emblems as 7. 

The goddesses on the north wall are : — 

12. Isis, with vulture headdress, horns, and 
disk. In one hand she holds a group of prisoners 
and a palm-branch, and in the other a libation 
vase with swing handle. 

13. Muth, wearing double crown and vulture 

headdress, and holding in one hand I with of— 
issuing from it, and in the other •¥•. 

3 Compare Meroe, no. 7, p. 66. 

4 In Meroe, PI. i., it may be a bunch of cornstalks. 



14. A goddess with negro features and only 
the uraeus fillet round her curly hair, but on the 
top of her head a hawk with disk and uraeus. 
She holds a palm-branch in one hand and a pair 
of gloves in the other. 

15. Hathor, wearing vulture headdress and 
two plumes with long horns and disk. She holds 
the same emblem as 13. 

16. Satis, with tall crown and horns, holding 
the same emblems as the last. 

From the nostrils of gods and goddesses alike 
issues oj — directed to the nostrils of the royalties. 
All the gods appear to be of Egyptian origin, 
except perhaps the Lion-god himself, who, how- 
ever, has plenty of analogues in Egypt. The 
goddesses are all represented as obese ; while 
four of them evidently are Egyptian, no. 14 
suggests a deified negress, or at least a negro 
divinity, perhaps a negro Hathor. 

18, 19. In the centre of the west wall, at 
the back of the temple, stands the Lion-god, 
having a triple head crowned with the usual 
crown. On each side he holds out two arms, 
one hand holding a bouquet (?), the other sup- 
porting the arm of the leading worshipper. On 
the left is the queen, followed by the prince ; on 
the right the king and the prince, of— issues 
from his nostrils towards the nostrils of the 

The inscriptions to each of these deities and 
on either side of the triple-headed god are in 
three short columns, except only that of Khons. 
It is very unfortunate that they are so much 
injured, as, if complete, they would have settled 
the Meroitic names. Some words recur in 
several, while others are distinctive of particular 
deities ; but the arrangement seems confused. 
A good deal of the apparent confusion disappears 
when it is realised that the middle column may 
be reserved for the name of the deity, in the 
same way as it is occupied by the cartouche of 
a royalty, while the columns on either side are 
to be considered as consecutive to each other. 
Hence a single word may be divided between 

the first and third columns, the second being 
treated independently. In other instances, how- 
ever, the distinctive words are to be found in 
the first column. 

Making allowance for this, the inscriptions 
appear to be as follows : — 

(6) The Lion-god, L., D., V., 62; Breasted, 
photos 515, 516. 

(7) Hawk-headed god Haroeris, or Harmakhis, 
L., D., V., 61 ; Breasted, photos 513, 514. 

(8) Ram-headed god, Ammon (ib.). 

rarafflJW : ra<s>M-^] 3 : ^fU* 

(9) Khons (ib.). 

(10) Ram-headed god, Khnum (ib.). 

. ...yW....» ira<B>[(]i) ? ] 

(19) Three-headed Apezemak, left, L., D., V., 
59 ; Breasted, photos 510, 511. 

-^[nral-^EflBB: 3 2 

\ : ra<s>^ 
(18) Three-headed Apezemak, right, L., D. y 
V., 59 ; Breasted, photos 511, 512. 


,:«*: fi%3r; ( ra 13 

(12) Isis, with horns and disc, L., D., V., 57; 
Breasted, photo 508. 

Inscription destroyed. 

(13) Muth, with y, L., D., V., 58 ; Breasted, 
photo 509. 



(14) Negro-goddess, with t\ on head (ib). 

(15) Hathor (ib.). 



: («'c)i 

(16) Satis (ib.). 

«*-y. aaa 3 
o-i' aaa 


AAA 3 


: ra^>^?-£^ : ^%-3> 

A careful revision with the original would no 
doubt confirm or correct many doubtful readings. 
My copies were collated with the help of a fairly 
long ladder in January, 1910, and added many 
signs to those recorded by Lepsius ; but they 
were done with little comprehension of the 
names and formulae, and a further examination 
of the Breasted photographs is not sufficient to 
settle doubtful points. In the above readings 
the order of the columns is disregarded in order 
to bring together the parallel phrases in the 
different inscriptions, putting the distinctive 
name of the deity at the beginning. 

It will be seen that, excepting Khons among 
the gods and the negress in a corresponding 
place among the goddesses, the names of the 
deities are accompanied by phrases almost 
fixed. The gods and goddesses alike have 
ra <s> ^ -&& • ra^-c^^)™, the gods also 
ra<s>;^-2s> i.^fl^ja^k' tlie goddesses 
ra<^^5,^3s j ^^3>r. rala^ffl occurs 
in similar contexts in no. 1 and Meroe, nos. 5,16; 
: ^^^>^ : m a woman's name ^^-^/^ 
Natakili at Karanog, but also in the name of 
the king Natakamani on this temple; "^3/^,7 
in two phrases relating to a woman at Karanog, 
one of them meaning, perhaps, " mother of a 
malewi" (Kar. 127); and ra<s>;>£3 , - 2s6 is the 
last word on the columns of Naga and Amara, 
nos. 34, 84. 

It is very interesting that on the right side 
(his own left) the three-headed Apezemak has the 
phrase of the goddesses ; we may be sure that 

on the left he had that of the gods. The right 
(proper left) is the side of the females, the other 
that of the males, as is seen with the king and 
queen on the pylon here, and on the side walls 
of the temple, the proper left wall being given 
to the goddesses, the proper right to the gods. 
It seems clear, therefore, that the three-headed 
deity was considered to combine male and female 
attributes, though there is nothing in the figure 
itself to suggest this dual nature. 

(6) The name of the lion-headed god Ape- 
zemak is given by several monuments at Meroe 
(cf. the note to 18 below), and it must probably 
be restored here, but whether with initial )$$, as 
in 18, is not certain. There seems hardly room 
for this. If ^ were restored it might necessi- 
tate some increase of letters in the other columns. 
The reading fn^(]i), &c, seems justified by the 
□ or ra which I noted as probable from the 

(7) The name may have commenced with that 
of Horus, to ??-., Ar, written with or without 
initial )§ (cf. Meroe, no. 7, and p. 66). If 
Pls'^k following is right, perhaps it may be a 
word for the sun ; but I was inclined to read 
P^c^ on the original. The terminal ra is 
perhaps omitted twice after <=>"%%. This element 
can be dropped in analogous instances, e.g. in 
the "terminal formulae" of the funerary texts. 
See the pylon texts (3, 4) for the last group. 

(8) Some form of the name of Ammon must 
have stood here : at the end to the customary 
phrases is added rara™]]IlH ? , which looks like 
a place-name, "in Napata (?)," preceded by a 
doubtful sign, ]M,, Q orfl:. It is natural that 
Ammon should precede Khons, and Muth cor- 
responds on the other wall. 

(9) The inscription of Khons, complete in one 
line, is cut in relief, like many of the royal 
names, while the others are incised. 1 His name 
consists of Aqezis, the third word in the title of 
the human-headed Ammon in his temple (below, 

1 Cf. above, p. 56, note 4. 

I 2 



nos. 23, 36, &c), with the very common addition 
£5-&x>. **~y$ 1} is found in a name in Kar. 30. 

(10) should be Khnum, corresponding to Satis 
on the other wall ; but the name Amnbs, or 
Amani-bash, can hardly be a rendering of the 
Greek Xvovfii,?. It seems rather to be analys- 
able as a form of the name Ammon. The 
identification of Ammon with Khnum and Zeus 
is found also in Egypt, bs is a rare collocation, 
but y^USZ^ occurs in Kar. 78. 

(1 9) -^ at the end is remarkable. 

(18) All doubts about the reading of the 
middle line are set at rest by the inscriptions 
from the temple of the Lion-god at Meroe' 
[Meroe, nos. 5, 7-10, giving the name Apeze- 
mak, and p. 63). 

(1 2) It is unfortunate that the inscription of 
Isis is destroyed, but her Meroitic name 3/3, 
Wesh, is well known from other sources. 

(14) It would be interesting to know more 
about this negro- goddess. She is probably 
rao^-st* • ra^sflra, but not iP^rM 
n5<3>3£}i_2a>, like the other goddesses. Has she 
any connection with the goddess Amentet (of 
the West) at Thebes, with emblem #* ? Khons, 
the moon-god, with whom she may have some 
connection, was important in magic, and this 
negress may have been a native sorceress deified 
after death. The sorcery of the negroes is 
referred to in the second story of Sethon, 1 and in 
a late book of spells ; 2 and now some forms of 
divination in Cairo (e.g. fortune-telling by sand) 
are chiefly worked by negroes. 

(15) The spelling of the name Hathor, 
\ gzi^E] \ rs^, At-(a)ri with affix qe, is very 

curious and interesting. After dropping h, 
Atari as compared to Egyptian Hathor, Q&sujp, 
is like Amani as compared to Egyptian Anion 
(Amun), «*juioYrf. 

1 Griffith, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis, 
pp. 55 et seqq. 

2 Griffith and Thompson, Demotic Magical Papyrus of 
London and Leyden, e.g. verso, col. xx. 

(16) 3> may suggest that the Meroites 
borrowed the name of Satis 3 . . . from the 
Egyptians ; but the notes made on the spot do 
not bear this out, and, moreover, it seems as if 
a descriptive name, such as " [Consort of] Amani," 
was resorted to, Amani here standing for Khnum, 
as in the corresponding inscription 10. 

Interior of the Chamber. 

The interior faces of the chamber are sculp- 
tured with large figures representing the three 
royalties adoring various divinities. On the 
South wall these are human-headed and other 
forms of Apezemak and perhaps Isis. On the 
North wall similar forms of Ammon and Muth. 
Some of the figures are in semi- classical style. 
Above these large figures is a row of smaller 

With one exception the cartouches are 
blank, and there are no other inscrip- 
tions. The only scrap of inscription is 
the first cartouche on the South wall, 
showing that we have here to do with the same 
king as on the outer walls. 

For all these see L., D., V., 63-65. The 
sculptures are in bad condition, and Lepsius's 
draughtsman has misrepresented the figures of 
Apezemak. They are easily recognized, however, 
on the excellent photographs of Breasted, 
nos. 519-524. 


Of graffiti on the temple I observed only two : 
the first (21) had been neatly cut, below the arm 
of the three-headed Apezemak on the right half 
of the back wall, in Meroite demotic of the later 
type, and consisted of eleven lines (faintly visible 
in Breasted, photo 512). But it was so much 
injured that, except in the first line, 4 only a few 
scattered signs could be recognized. Here we 
may restore \**-*il<rSI»ff% '. V frfj' Apezemak 


3 Or Sopti, Sothis; cf. Roeder, A. Z., 1909. 
* Copy in PL XX. 



in . . ybe." Perhaps patient study of it with 
fuller knowledge would give more result than 
my first attempt. 

The second, in Egyptian demotic (no. 5a faintly 
visible in Breasted, photos 515, 516), 1 is the most 
southerly example known in this script, which 
is exceedingly rare beyond the Dodecaschoenus. 
It is cut in front of the prince, and between him 
and the queen, on the South wall in the scene of 
the adoration of Apezemak and the other gods. 
It consists of four lines, now in very bad con- 
dition. (1) [t w~\ste n qrny . . (2) 

s-z.t (3) ty m-bh : 'R-hms-nfr (?) p ntr c o . . . . 

" The adoration of the qereh (standeth) 

for ever here before Arsenuphis (?) the great god." 
The name Arsenuphis requires verification. The 
title qeren is frequent in Meroitic inscriptions 
and Egyptian demotic graffiti at Philae and 
elsewhere, but its significance is not yet clear. 

It thus appears that the temple was dedicated 
in the names of Natakamani and his queen 
Amanitere, together with the prince Arikakharer. 
The same royal trio is found at Meroe' in the 

kiosque of the temple of Ammon ; 2 there too was 
found the inscription of a god 3 exactly parallel 
to those on the South wall of their temple at 

The dedication was to the Lion-god Apezemak 
and Isis with the Meroitic Haroeris or Harmakhis, 
and in the second place to Ammon, Muth, and 
Khons, with other gods and goddesses. Apeze- 
mak appears from the graffito (5a) to have been 
identified with Arsenuphis. His association with 
Isis was considered a scandalous Ethiopian heresy 
by orthodox Egyptians. 4 

On the back of the pylon Apezemak's standard 
pierces a prisoner, and Isis leads a group of 
prisoners to the king. The pair thus have the 
character of war gods. Diodorus Siculus, it may 
be noted, imagines a warlike expedition of Osiris 
which began in Ethiopia. 5 But Apezemak also 
holds a bunch of flowers or cornstalks and Isis 
a libation vase. They are therefore the providers 
of food and water. The guardian lion is placed 
on the banks of the reservoirs, as well as the 
ram, and the frog in the water. 6 

The Kiosque (temple h of Lepsius). 

Opposite the entrance of the temple of the 
Lion-god, and almost in the same axis, is a 
curious little semi-classical structure (seen in 
Cailliaud, Voyage, PI. xiii. ; L., D., I., 141 b), 
with an entrance at each end and round arches 
at the side. It is probably a kiosque belonging 
to the approach to the temple of the Lion-god. 
Each entrance and a square window at each side 
are surmounted by the Egyptian winged disk, but 
otherwise the sculpture is purely architectural, 
and there are no original inscriptions. Inside, 
on the north wall, are the signatures PUCKLER- 
MUSKAU (travelled in 1838), "J^,? com " 

1 See PI. XIX. 

memorative of Lord Prudhoe and Major Felix 
in 1829, and another of 1906 which ought not 
to be there. Near these is a single Meroitic 
graffito (22) in one line of transitional style and 
therefore not very late. 7 There is nothing to show 
by whom this kiosque was built, but perhaps one 
may conjecture that it was erected for the same 
royalties who built the temple, and whose taste 
for Roman-Hellenistic art is seen in the interior 
of that temple. 

2 Meroe, no. 15. 3 lb. no. 16. 

4 Meroe, p. 66. G Diod., i. 17, et seqq. 

6 See the plans of the Ba'sa and Umm Soda reservoirs 
in Pis. IV., XIII. 

7 Copy on PI. XX. 



The Temple of Ammon, or the Great Temple (temples c, d, of Lepsius). 

If the temple of the Lion-god is essentially 
Meroitic and the kiosque essentially Hellenistic, 
the temple of Ammon is thoroughly Egyptian in 
style. It faces due west according to the map 
in L., D., I., 143, and is approached by a broad 
ramp or flight of steps, at the top of which is an 
avenue of six rams, a kiosque (temple c of 
Lepsius) and six more rams, all uninscribed. 
The stone - roofed inner chamber is reached 
through three doorways, the first in a ruined 
pylon, behind which was a small court with eight 
columns, one of them still upright. The sculp- 
tures show the figures in fairly good Egyptian 
style, without barbaric dress or ornament. It is 
perhaps needless to say that all is on a small 
scale. See Cailliaud, Voyage, i., PI. xv., xix. ; 
L., I)., L, Bl. 144, 145. 

The inscriptions are on the gateways and the 
column. Besides Lepsius's copies two of the 
Breasted photographs are of value for the 
inscriptions, and I have collated the originals of 
the most important. 

The facade of the first gateway, L., D., V., 
60 a; Breasted, photo 532. 1 

On the architrave at the top are two scenes : 

on the left the king and queen (wearing Q) and 
the prince (wearing uraeus fillet), each holding 
A over shoulder, offer a libation vase to the 
human-headed Ammon enthroned. Cartouches 
are before the faces of the royalties, and two 
short columns of inscription before the god, 
while behind him is a complete column of in- 
scription, 23, 23a. 2 A peculiarity of this scene 
is shown only in the Breasted photograph, 
namely a column of small hieroglyphic characters 
reaching from the hand to the foot of the god, 
but unfortunately not legible. 

On the right is a precisely corresponding scene, 

1 See PL XXI. 

» See PL XXII. 

except that the king and queen wear %/, and 
the god is ram-headed. Inscriptions 24, 24a. 

On the left jamb, on the upper half, the 
human-headed Ammon embraces the king, the 
names and titles being written between ; on 
the lower half two Nile figures face towards the 
entrance, each holding two libation vessels over 
the shoulders, and with a complete column of 
inscription between them. On the right the 
scenes correspond, but the god is ram-headed 
and embraces the queen. Inscriptions 25-28. 

In the passage-way 3 on the left-hand side 

Ammon applies three ■¥• with his fingers to the 

face of the king, and below are figures of the 
Nile, with a column of inscription between 
(L., D., V., 66 c). On the right is the same 
scene for the queen (ib. h), and Niles are below 
as before (ib. d). Inscriptions 29-32. 

In the court behind the first gateway on the 
right stands a large column of six drums, with 
massive cubic abacus still on the top though 
displaced. The shaft measures about 3^ metres 
or 12 A feet to the abacus. The latter is sculp- 
tured on each face with the cartouches of the 
three royalties, and the column is covered with 
sculptures and inscriptions. 4 This column was 
originally the second of those flanking the 
passage-way on the right ; remains of other 
columns are lying around. 

The facade of the second gateway is sculptured 
with scenes and some inscriptions roughly 
finished. The architrave has the same scenes as 
on the first gateway, only here the ram-headed 
deity is on the left, and the human-headed on 
the right. Inscriptions 35, 36, like 24, 23, vide 
L., D., V., 67 b (seen in Breasted, photo 533). 
The passage-way is sculptured but not inscribed : 

3 Also on PL XXI. 

* See PL XXIII. 



The facade (inscriptions 37, 38, like 35, 36 *) 
and passage-way of the third gateway is sculp- 
tured with scenes better finished and more fully 
inscribed than the second, and the inscriptions 
attached to other divinities than Amnion would 
have been valuable if they had not been so much 
injured: L., D., V., 68 a-c. 

Clearances would be required before the temple 
could be completely copied : but there is so 
much repetition that little can be expected except 
texts already known. It is to be feared that 
the rams, which show Osiride figures against the 
chest like the Soba ram, are all uninscribed. 

The Royal Names. 

The names of the royalties occur many times. 
On the doorways an Egyptian prenomen is 
given to each with corrupted Egyptian titles, 
while on the columns only the Meroitic name is 

The king is "] £ [ogu] «a o ^ 
r^^fev^^^)? " Tne beneficent god Kheper- 
kere, son of Re, Lord of diadems, Natakamani." 
His prenomen is that of Sesostris I. and of 
Nekhtnebf, the last king of Egypt, who is said 
to have fled to Ethiopia. 

queen is J)? ~ [< 






" The female Re (?), Merikere, 
the great one, lady of the two lands, Amanitere." 

prince is 

3^ J, "The beneficent god 



Ankhkere, king, lord of the two lands, Araka- 
khatani." The first part of the Meroitic name 
is the same as that of the prince in the temple 
of the Lion-god. The remaining portion ^M^ 
is a name found in Kar., and as a royal name 
in nos. 119, 120 at Philae. 

The title j $■ (replacing 1 T of Egyptian titles) 

1 For all these compare PI. XXII., where the copy is 
actually of 23, 24. 

may be borrowed from some of the late Ptolemaic 

names and titles in which | ^, " Euergetes," 

appears, and Jb may be intended for f J) in 

the titles of the Cleopatras. But this of course 
does not necessarily imply that the inscriptions 
of these royalties are as early as the later 
Ptolemies, whose titles abound at Philae and in 
other temples of Upper Egypt. 

The same royal trio as here seems to occur 
with cartouches in Egyptian at Gebel Barkal. 2 

Inscriptions of Amnion. 

The two forms of Ammon, human-headed and 
ram-headed, appear to be placed on an equal 
footing. On the pylon doorway the human - 
headed deity has the southern position and the 
ram-headed the northern, but on the other two 
these are reversed. 

The standard inscription with the human-headed 
form is given twice in 23, 36, and once in 37. 3 

The name Amani is followed by a group which 
might mean " in Nete," i.e. perhaps Ne (Thebes) 
or Napata. The next is the name of Khons in 
no. 9 above; 37 here gives £?A instead of (I A- 
The last word is made up of well-known 

The inscription with the ram-headed Ammon 

occurs twice in 24, 35, once in 37, and in the 

inscriptions of the column 34. 

rara^i^^ j ]]ra1^( j yW) \ ^Ji^ 

"Amani the great, chief (?) god(?) in Telakte." 

The second word, lah, is only in the single- 
line inscription of the doorways ; it is similarly 
marked off : >^ : in no. 65. Aritah (cf. 
Nubian arti, " god,") is frequent in 94, and 
occurs again separately on the column (34, also 
84). The fourth is again suggestive of a place- 

2 See Part II., ad loc. 

3 Cf. Meroe, p. 72, no. 17, where the legend seems to be 
" Ammon in Nete " alone. 



name Telakte (cf. nos. 3, 4), and is almost unique 
as beginning with ^ ; the c=^ is probably for 
cs^^l " water," and perhaps a reservoir at Naga 
bore the name " Water in Lak," if that is the 

Two other inscriptions of the god are seen in 
nos. 29, 31. The ram-headed Amnion gives life 
in the shape of three oj — with his fingers to the 
mouth of a royalty, on the left side the king, on 
the right the queen (L., D., V., 66 c, d). 

No. 29. Ammon with the king : 

BHttf*'<s>l i ll| 2 [W]tt ? ^pk : 1rU 

The first phrase is attached to the king in 
34, 84. The termination of a word with KB, if 
correct, is unusual. 

No. 31, with the queen : 

The first part might mean "Ammon in Bere." 1 
The second looks like a phrase of the type of 
formula A in the funerary texts, pl5c=^ stand- 
ing perhaps for $Uc^)^. 

The Inscriptions of the Nile. 

They fall into two groups, those of the right 
or southern side (in this temple) and those of 
the left or northern. 

Right side, inscr. 28 (L., D., V., 66 b; 

Breasted, photo 532), 32 : 

^^ j ^^^2)^fl<s> i -RaPee.1 : ^ 

Left side, inscr. 26 (ib.), 30 : 


(This restoration is helped out by a parallel 
fragment from Meroe, 2 reading 

] HO "J t (|I|-cjESI :*»-«*» ! 3>[) 
The inscriptions begin with :^~-SZ^ : "water" 
(see Part II, no. 97), and end with /-*- 5 2^ like 
the formula A of the funerary texts, which 
evidently are of similar purport. It will be 
observed that the figures of the Nile in every 

Possibly " Meroe." 

2 Meroe, p. 73, no. 21. 

case are pouring water from their vases. The 
two phrases were evidently identical, except for 
the group • 2>^3)[ ]y • in the second 
replacing the two groups v $-£)<2> | -^AP^i^ • 
in the first. Here should be the names of 
two different quarters or provinces or Niles. 
jt& P A P s ^ 1 f) is on one face of the Amara column 
(84), and probably stood on the south face of the 
Naga column (34). The first element appears 
to be yire, perhaps the Egyptian eioop, Eiep- 
" river," and the second, qe, might mean 
" great," or the like. The next word resembles 
uj/cuf^f-dc?, a princely name in Kar. ; cf. 73 

On the north face of the Naga column, the 
word SB <L5 (which is on each face of most of the 
columns at Amara) corresponds to .2a P A P Q ^ \ \ 
on the South face. It is very tempting to 
restore the second inscription accordingly with 
3>|^ 2) [ffl]y • c=^- There is a wide gap here 
in the writing, but it is crossed by a joint where 
the stone is much chipped, and possibly fflB or 

even ™ might be restored at the joint, though 
there is strangely little trace of engraving. One 
would have expected £\ W y to be written from 
the parallel in 32. Another idea would be to 
equate [ ]u \ ^^ with 5>^-S2- of the 
funerary formula A. 2>^r3) occurs in 93. 

•£).££>, t 1- ) is the usual termination of the 
penultimate word in the formulae of the royal 
altars from Meroe' (50, 59, 60 below), and with 
§\&£>&£>73 one may compare d^/if, the original 
reading; in formula C on no. 60. 

Sculptures and Inscriptions of the Column. 

33. The column is surmounted by a cube of 
stone forming the capital (L., D., V., 67 a; 
west side only, Breasted, photo 533). It is 
sculptured on each face with the Meroitic names 
of the three royalties in cartouches, each sur- 
mounted by double plumes and resting on C**\. 
On the west and east faces they are between the 
vulture of Nekhebt (to left) and the uraeus of 



Buto (to right), on the north and south faces 
between MM figures. 1 

34. The shaft of the column (L., 1)., and 
Breasted, as the last) 2 is divided vertically by 
four lines of inscription running from top to 
bottom ; each of the intervening spaces is sculp- 
tured with four scenes, a row of stars at the top 
dividing them from each other. The lowest row 
consists of Nile figures in pairs (two towards the 
passage facing each other, the other two perhaps 
facing outwards) pouring water from a vase over 
each shoulder. 

Whereas in the rest of the temple there is 
scarcely any divine figure beyond the two forms of 
Ammon and the Nile figures, in the three upper 
rows of scenes on the column a great variety of gods 
is shown, as on the columns of Amara (no. 84). 

Beginning at the top, these scenes are, between 
11. 4 and 1 : (a) king offering to human-headed 
Ammon ; (b) king to ram-headed Ammon ; (c) 
prince to human-headed Ammon. 

Between 11. 1 and 2 : (a) king offering to 
hawk-headed Re ; (J>) king to Muth ; (c) prince 
to Khons (?). 

Between 11. 2 and 3 : (a) prince (?) offering to 
ithy phallic Ammon or Min ; (b) prince to a god ; 
(c) prince to Khnum (?). 

Between 11. 3 and 4 : (a) queen offering to 
Apezemak ; (b) queen to a goddess like the 
negress of the lion temple (no. 14 above) ; 
(c) queen offering to a god with human head 
crowned by a disk. All the scenes are un- 
fortunately without inscriptions. 

The arrangement is quite intelligible. In the 
most conspicuous place to the visitor approaching 
the shrine (4-1) the king and prince offer to the 
different forms of the presiding deity, Ammon ; 
in the most conspicuous to a person leaving it 
(1-2) the royal trio offer respectively to Re 
and the members of Ammon's triad ; on a less 

1 See PI. XXIII. for the scenes and inscriptions of the 

2 The remains of the fallen columns need excavation 
and have not been examined. 

conspicuous side (3-4) the queen offers to 
Apezemak and other deities ; and in the most 
obscure of all (2-3) the prince offers to Min and 
other gods. If the rest of the columns had been 
preserved, it could be seen how far such an 
arrangement was followed throughout. From 
the analogy of those of Amara it is certain that 
other gods would have been represented. In 
the rest of this temple, besides Ammon and the 
Nile figures, we have only Isis, Horus, Thoth, and 
two anthropomorphic gods crowning or blessing 
the royalties on the jambs and in the passage- 
way of the second door (L., D., V., b, c, d). 

The four vertical lines of inscription, so far as 
they are preserved and legible, repeat the same 
text, the only difference being in the third group 
from the end. The inscription on the north 
side (1. l), completed from the parallels, gives 

jarara^-Sa^ : Ural 


%. 3>ZS) 

The restorations in [ ] are from the Amara 
columns, no. 84. As at Amara, the insertion 
of division marks evidently varied. The sub- 
stitution in 3 (in Lepsius's copy) of \ j&s>\\^ 
for ^& zjzf P ^ ^ is probably only a mistake of 
the ancient or the modern copyist, since the 
Amara texts show no such variation. 

For • _aa>ffl ? l5, which occurs on all sides of 
some of the Amara columns, there are here the 
same variations as on Amara a, namely, on the 
West face (4) \ ^& (J %4}ra, on the East face (2) 

-*** P h- flP^THI' but tlie s rou P on tlie Soutn 

face (3) is almost if not quite illegible. 

The first three words are the titles of the 
ram-headed Ammon (above, p. 63), which is 
thus apparently the leading form in the temple, 
with vzs> added to the last word. The rest of 
the inscription, except the name of the prince, is 
exactly like no. 84 at Amara, q.v. (in Part II). 




Temple /. 

Temple / is the designation given by Lepsius 
to a small temple, facing to the south on the 
slope of a steep hill, at the back of the city, 
where the stone was quarried for the buildings. 
It consisted of a portico and chamber with four 
columns, and an annex on the west side. At 
the back of the chamber is a niche contain- 
ing an altar. There are traces of sculptured 
figures in the portico. Plan, Cailliadd, Voyage 
a Me'roe, i., PI. xv., fig. 7 ; L., D., I., 145 ; 
view, Cailliaud, ib., PI. xxi. ; Breasted, photo 

39. In the back wall of the chamber is 
sunk a niche, containing an altar against the 
wall, and on either side of the altar, on the 

back wall of the niche, is the end (?) 
of a line of Egyptian hieroglyphic with 
cartouche in Meroitic, published L., D., 
V., 68 d} 

It is possible that the inscription is 
complete, ra being for D the definite 
article, and the whole reading " The royal 
cleansing (?) of the Son of Ke, Lord of 
the Two Lands, Shanakazakhete, to whom 
life is granted for ever." No one familiar 
with the inscriptions of the Meroites will 
fail to be struck by the comparative cor- 
rectness of the inscription. It must be 
of about the same age as the Ammon 
temple, perhaps a little earlier. 







1 Shown on PL XXIII. 



Wad Benaga is a considerable site, with 
mounds of burnt tiles and rubbish, near the 
bank of the Nile, and, as Mr. Crowfoot points 
out, was the starting-point in antiquity to the 
settlements at Naga and Musauwarat es-Sufra. 
I was informed that the name of the modern 
village is taken from a certain sheikh, Selim 
Wad Benaga, who is buried in a qubba some 
miles to the south. 

When visited by Cailliaud, Hoskins, and 
Lepsius two temples were distinguishable ; the 
western one, facing southward, was marked by 
square pillars sculptured with standing figures of 
Bes and surmounted by Hathor heads ; the other, 
by various remains. Cailliaud gives a good plan 
of the site ( Voyage a Meroe, i., PI. ix., cf. Texte, 
iii. 101, and Hoskins, Ethiopia, p. 114), and 
views of the columns are in Cailliaud, ih. , PL x. ; 
Hoskins, ib., p. 112; L., D., I., 139. Now the 
railway passes through the mounds (which lie 
just south of the station) close to both the 
temple sites, and nearly all the stones have 
been removed, leaving only the heaps of burnt 
tiles and some small architectural fragments. 
Lepsius found two small figures of Amenhotep 
II. at Wad Benaga, and I picked up on the 
mounds a fragment (now in the Khartum 
Museum) which may possibly be from a similar 

Of Meroitic inscriptions from here only two 
are recorded ; both were discovered in Lepsius's 
excavations in the eastern temple (cf. Lepsius, 
Briefe, pp. 149, 203), though Ferlini also seems 
to have dug down to some altars at Wad 
Benaga. 1 

1 Budge, Egyptian Sudan, vol. i., pp. 286, 287. 

40. Lepsius publishes the sculpture on two 
faces of a square capital closely like that of 
Naga (no. 33), but with only two cartouches, the 
Meroitic names of King Natakamani and his 
Queen Amanitere : L., D,, V., 55 c. 

41. A square support, probably for a sacred 
bark, 2 of hard sandstone with cavetto cornice, 
sculptured and inscribed on each side. Found 
in position in the temple (Lepsius, Briefe, p. 
203): original now in Berlin, Verz. no. 7261. 
Height 1-18 metre. Published L., D., V., 55 a. 3 

On one side, that which faced the west, the 
winged disk is sculptured on the cornice, and a 
king stands upholding the symbol of the starry 
heaven. He wears a close-fitting cap with 
uraeus, a ribbon falling behind, and a loin- 
cloth ; round his neck is a necklace with two 

Over his left shoulder is his Egyptian pre- 
^jQj nomen, " The King of Upper and 
s — ■ y Lower Egypt, Lord of the two 
^11^ lands, Kheper-ke-Re c " ; over the 
rio-ht shoulder his Meroitic name 
and titles, " Son of the Sun, Lord 
of diadems, Natakamani." 

In a column on each side of him are 
Egyptian inscriptions : — 




iniiiiiii. (J) 




P^ 9? "Well established upon thy great place, 
Isis, Lady of the Underworld, like the living 
Aton in the horizon. Thou hast confirmed thy 
son Natakamani upon his throne." 

2 So in Verzeichniss. 

3 Pis. XXIV., XXV. 
k 2 



On the opposite (east) side, the queen with 
similar headdress, obese and with pendent breasts, 
^ clothed in a long garment to her 
K ^ 7 ankles, similarly supports the sky. 
<=?s= Her Egyptian prenomen is over her 
left shoulder, "The Queen of Upper 
Egypt, Lady of the two lands, Mer- 
ke-re " ; over the right shoulder her 
Meroitic name, " Daughter of the Sun, 
Lady of diadems, Amanitere." 

The two Egyptian columns read : — 




Q I 











1 1 1 1 ■ 1 1 u i 

, <=> Ij^y, " Established art thou 

upon thy great place, Isis, Lady of the 
Underworld, like as the moon is established firm 
in the egg, circling round heaven : may she give 
life to the daughter of the Sun, Amanitere." 

On the south side is the figure of an Egyptian 
goddess, with firm breasts, but without emblems, 
supporting the starry sky. Over her shoulders 
are the Egyptian words ^ , " South," and 
f , Ahe, her name. The inscription in the 
two columns reads : — 



^ a n 




" I have uplifted the sky for Isis, giver 

of life, I have separated (?) her place from her (?) 
Creator, that she may shine therein in her bark 
like the Aton in the sun-boat." 

On the north side is a similar goddess with 


£3 <=} 

the legend ^J, "North," and ^ , Twe, her 
name. The inscriptions here are : — 






" I have uplifted the sky-depths for the 

Mistress of Earth, I have separated her place 
from her mother (?), that she may shine in it in 
her bark like the Creator voyaging in his bark." 

These representations of the north and south 
supports of the sky may be compared with those 
in Mariette, Denderah, ii., 55 a, where there 
are inscriptions of a similar character with the 
goddesses of each quarter. 

The king and queen are the same as those in 
the temple of Amnion at Naga, but the prince 
is not named. Their names are written in 
Meroitic characters above them and in Egyptian 
in the side columns. The discovery of these 
tiny bilingual keys gave Lepsius the hope of 
speedy decipherment of Meroitic writing, and 
has furnished the starting-point of all subsequent 
investigation into the hieroglyphic writing of 
the Meroites. 

The spelling of the Egyptian titles attached 
to the Meroitic cartouches is that which became 
common in Egyptian temples from the beginning 
of the first century B.C. (Ptolemy XI.-XII.) and 
continued through the Roman period, though it 
might be traced back as far as the end of the 
third century B.C. 

From the inscriptions on no*. 41 it appears that 
the eastern temple at Wad Benaga was dedicated 
to Isis. The western temple, with the Bes 
columns, was therefore the Birth-house of the 

Isis temple. The title of Isis, ^3 


" Mistress of the Underworld," is not usual on 
Egyptian monuments, but her other title, At", 
" giver of life," is common at Philae. 



Musauwarat es-Sufra is the name of a great 
field of stone ruins in the desert, fourteen miles 
north of Naga. Some of the columns of the 
temples have remarkable sculptures, but nowhere 
are there hieroglyphic or other monumental 
inscriptions. Cailliaud found here an inscrip- 
tion in Latin upon the wall of a staircase. It 
was afterwards taken by Lepsius to Berlin, 
and Lepsius copied several Nubian graffiti of 
Christian period. I was not able to visit the 
site. For plans, etc., see Cailliaud, Voyage a 
Meroe, i., PI. xxii.-xxx., Texte, vol. iii., ch. xlviii. ; 
Hoskins, Ethiopia, pp. 99 et seqq. ; L., I)., I., 

42. Copied by Cailliaud " sur un mur 
d'enceinte," Voyage, Texte iii., PL 5, no. 3, and 
Lepsius, L., I)., VI., PL 10, no. 50. 1 Archaic. 

1 This and the two following inscriptions are on 

"^""^ might be read for ^2^. W V 1^ occurs 
in 129/3, and /3 is an ending seen in many 
graffiti of Philae. The meaning is perhaps 
" made by Arkiwal (?) from Nakazy." 

43. Graffito (?), published L., I)., VI., no. 54. 

The signs may be read If ^XJ^'f, a name 

44. Inscription copied by Mr. P. Drummond, 
who kindly gave me his copy to publish. It is 
on the west or innermost wall of the cella of 
the peripteral hall or temple. Late style. Cf. 
Mr. Crowfoot's account above, p. 40. 

The first word is a man's title at Philae and 
Karanog. A name probably follows, with a 
descriptive phrase ending in /^ : as in 65 below. 

No inscriptions are recorded from Wadi el- 
Benat, where there are ruins of a temple showing 
Meroitic sculpture. L., D., V., 68, e, f. 


Umm Soda, a reservoir in the eastern desert, 
about forty miles S.E. of Ba c sa, discovered by 
Mr. Crowfoot in 1907. 1 About the reservoir 
lay several figures of lions and rams, much worn, 
and on the N.E. bank, close to several rams, a 
prostrate stela of sandstone with inscription. 
45. The stela stood on a large and tall base 

1 See ahove, p. 23. 

(in the same block), the upper part of which 
seems to be to some extent smoothed, while the 
greater part is roughly chiselled, presumably to 
be sunk in the ground. The stela itself is four- 
sided and slightly tapering. The face which lay 
on the ground shows ten short lines of inscrip- 
tion engraved between rules and another below 
the ruling. The first two lines are almost 
destroyed, the top of the stela having been 



broken away ; below these the characters are 
well preserved. The other faces appear to have 
been inscribed, but are so much weathered that 
nothing intelligible is left. Height 70 cm., 
width 34. Copy from a good squeeze and small 
photographs taken by Mr. Crowfoot. 1 

The inscription is in archaic style. 

The inscription may perhaps be divided and 
restored thus : — 

:J// 6 M-cr-W 5 ?K-£ -^ 
:y//M-?><v 9 ? : ^~l/^- 6 l^ri^sy : 3^2 

1 pi. xxvr. 

S&hl^rSy occurs at Kalabsha (94/19), and 
M-c^ is probably the word in the Soba inscrip- 
tion no. 1. Following . these seems to be /I 
(cf. 3^/2^ etc. at Philae) followed by a numeral 
or fraction marked off by a dot on either side. 
In U. 7, 8, if there is not mere dittography of 
M-, probably ^3M- (:) /^~9p should be read. 
*7-SW is found for ^5^ "water" in Kar. 107, 
and the following word is evidently to be con- 
nected with the funerary formula A. Line 10, 
3 ^X? occurs in Kar. 127. 

This is evidently but a fragment, the last 
word having been continued on another face. 
It seems to contain references to the water of 
the reservoir. 

BA r SA. 

A reservoir with temple of the Lion-god, in 
the Wady Awatib, about eighteen miles S.E. of 
Meroe ; discovered by Mr. Crowfoot in 1906, 
and explored by him and Mr. Drummond in 

46. The two cartouches are engraved on the 
chest of a small lion of sandstone, the centre 
one on the west side of the reservoir. 1 The 
height of the cartouches is 19 cm., the width 
15 cm. Published by Sayce, P.S.B.A., 31/200, 
268, and PI. xxvii. The present copy is from 
squeezes and photographs taken by Mr. Drum- 
mond and other photographs by Mr. Crowfoot. 2 

As the cartouches face in opposite directions 
they might be the names of two persons, a king 
on the left and a queen on the right. But there 
can be no doubt that the left hand cartouche 
contains only titles, and the king's name must 
be in the other. 

1 See above, pp. 14, 15. 


The left-hand cartouche reads If-ff-}- • cd £5 A ids J- 
There are some signs of alteration, but the 
reading is certain. iQ$, " Lord of the two lands," 
is borrowed from the Egyptian royal titles as 
found with the later Ptolemies and the Roman 
emperors ; • en £? A is the title qere that commonly 
follows royal names, but written without the 

usual vowel at the end ; and "Tyy is probably a 
reminiscence of ■¥- XI or the like, similarly 
placed to the •¥- on the Soba ram (no. 1). 

The right-hand cartouche is f p Ja^i <^> J 
^^- is a known collocation of signs, and ££|^ 
may be for Amani, written without the final 
vowel for want of space, like qere in the other 

Together, the two cartouches should mean 
"the Lord of the two lands, the king, ever 
living (or ' thrice living,' or ' of the living '), 
Mankhabale (or ' Amanikhabale ')." 



Cailliaud was the first traveller to visit the 
ruins of the ancient capital of the Meroites. 
The existence of pyramids to the north of 
Shendi was reported to him in Berber on his 
way south in 1821. April 25 of that year was 
the day on which to his great joy he reached the 
pyramids. The same evening he explored the 
ruins of the city, which he recognized to have been 

none other than Meroe' itself ( Voyage a Meroe, 
Texte ii., 142). Cailliaud remained fourteen 
days planning and sketching, and a year later, 
on his return northward, spent part of another 
day at the pyramids to complete some drawings. 
In 1833 Hoskins spent two days at Meroe, and 
Lepsius's expedition made a long stay devoted 
principally to the examination of the pyramids. 1 

The City Ruins. 

The ruins of the city lie on the east bank of 
the Nile, and are more than a mile in length 
from north to south. The railway now cuts 
through the eastern edge about three miles north 
from Kabushia station. The mounds show that 
the more solid buildings were constructed of 
burnt tiles, or in rare cases, of stone. Although 
temples are marked in the plans of Cailliaud 
and Lepsius, no sculpture was visible except the 
rams of the temple of Ammon. Two fragments 
of Meroitic writing were picked up by Lepsius's 
expedition, and a very important fragment of a 

Greek inscription set up by a king of Axum was 
discovered in 1909 by Prof. Sayce, and placed in 
the Khartum Museum ( P. S.B. A., xxxi., 189, and 
PL xxiv.). The excavations of Prof. GtARSTang 
(on behalf of the University of Liverpool) last 
winter, in the town and the adjacent cemeteries, 
have disclosed the ruins of portions of the temple 
of Ammon and smaller temples of the Lion-god 
(k of Lepsius) and of Isis (a of Lepsius), with 
another temple in the cemetery region eastward 
of the city (see L., D., I., Bl. 133) which it has 
been proposed to identify with the Altar of the 

1 It has lately been argued by a well-known and 
deservedly popular writer (in Garstang's Meroe, pp. 6, 7) 
that Lepsius and the other early travellers did not realize 
that the city remains, since explored by Prof. Gabstang, 
belonged to Meroe. If this curious view requires refuta- 
tion (and it seems that it does, owing to the high position 
of its promulgator and the authoritative work in which it 
appears); this is most easily given by pointing to Lepsius's 
Dmkmaler, Abth. I., Bl. 132, 133, labelled " Situationsplan 
von den ruinen der stadt Meroe nebst den dazu gehorigen 
Pyramidenfeldern Blatt 1, 2," i.e. "general plan of the 
ruins of the city of Meroe, together with the pyramid-fields 
belonging to it." The two plates give a plan of the whole 
of the ruins of the city as then visible, stretching from the 
river-bank as far as the group of pyramids in the plain 
(group C) ; it is easy to recognize on it the temple of 
Ammon and palace ruins, the temple of Isis (a), of the 
Lion-god (k), and the "Sun-temple." A third plate (in 
Bl. 134) comprises the more distant groups of pyramids A 

and B, the intervening space of nearly two kilometres not 
being mapped, as there were scarcely any ancient remains 
in it. Cailliaud, in PI. xxxi. of his Voyage a Meroe, vol. i., 
gives a plan of the whole site from the distant pyramids to 
the river on a much smaller scale than Lepsius. In his 
description of the plate he says, " l'emplacement de 
l'ancienne ville est marque par les restes de plusieurs 
temples, des buttes de decombres et des restes de construc- 
tions (etc., etc.) ; cet emplacement convient a la position que 
les anciens assignaient ii la ville de Meroe, capitale de Pile 
du meme nom," and continues with a description of the 
groups of pyramids on the east of the city. Both travellers 
were doubtless disappointed by the poverty of the remains 
of the city and their small extent, but both Cailliaud and 
Lepsius had had enough experience in archaeology to recog- 
nize at a glance that these ruins of " Assour," "Begerawia," 
or whatever modern name be given to them, represented 
the city to which the pyramids belonged, and probably no 
one who has traversed the site has ever doubted it. 



Sun mentioned by Herodotus. All of these are 
of late construction or reconstruction, but the 
name of the older Ethiopian king f(j p D -2sa | (j ], 
Aspert, was found on the remains of a granite 
stela in the temple of Ammon. About twenty 
inscriptions of the Meroite age were found in 
or about the temples, some written in Meroite 
hieroglyphic and demotic and others in Egyptian 
hieroglyphic ; they give the names of the royal 
trio — Natakamani, Amanitere and Arikakharer — 
as on the temple of the Lion-god at Naga, as 
well as the older Natakamani and Amanitere, 
and two new royal names, ^^^ ™^ %»^) , 
Akinizaz, a prince, and ^/^752-. 5 p ^~ou /)/^~, 
Teqarize-Amani, a late king. 1 

In his Konigsbuch der Alien Aegypten, 
Taf. lxxi., no. 942, Lepsids gives a car- 
touche from the ruins of the city of Meroe, 
as to which I have no further information. 
The same may be said of two imperfect 
cartouches, nos. 940, 941, but one may 
perhaps suggest that these are miscopied. 

Plans of the city are in Cailliaud, Voyage a 
Meroe, i., PL xxxi. ; L., D., I., 132, 133. 

47. Fragment from the edge of a monument 
in grey granite with large pink crystals, showing 
two inscribed faces at right angles to each other. 
Original in Berlin, no. 2264. Published L., D., 
VI., Bl. 10, nos. 46, 47. No. 46 in L., D., is 
wrongly said to be from Pyramids of Meroe 
group C ; it should be corrected to 48 (see 
no. 50 below). Lepsius's squeezes are labelled 
" von der Euinen der Stadt Meroe." 3 

The rules are 3' 30 to 3'90 cm. apart. The 
writing is of archaic type, but too little remains 
to be intelligible. 

48. Fragment of a very light and friable 
slab of sandstone. Original in Berlin, no. 2263. 
Published L., D., VI., Bl. 10, no. 49, as from 
the ruins of Meroe. Lepsius's squeeze exists, 
but is not marked with the locality. 

The rules are 5 cm. to 5 "50 cm. apart. The 
writing is of late type (type g ?). 

The fragmentary groups include a numeral. 

The Necropolis. 

East of the city lies a large necropolis, from 
which Garstang obtained about thirty inscrip- 
tions, one in Greek, one in Egyptian hieroglyphic, 
and the rest in Meroite demotic. 2 It ends in a 
group of pyramids in the plain about half a mile 
from the city. On the hills, two kilometres 
farther, are two more groups of pyramids, on 
either side of a wady. 

The pyramids in the plain [group C). 
The pyramids in the plain, the southern group 

1 The inscriptions from the Liverpool excavations of 
1909-10 in the city and necropolis of Meroe are dealt 
with by the present writer in Prof. Garstang's volume, 
Meroe, the city of the Ethiopians, ch. vi., pp. 57-87, with 
Pis. lxi.-lxxiv., and are photographically figured also in 
other plates. The present publication includes little 
beyond the inscriptions which Lepsius found ; several of 
these have been removed to Berlin or elsewhere. 

2 See his Meroe, pp. 74-78. 

or group C of Lepsius, form an extensive collec- 
tion of pyramids and stone-piled tombs of all 
sizes, the smallest pyramids measuring no more 
than twelve feet square at the base. Plans of 
the whole group are given by Cailliaud, Voyage 
a Meroe, i., PI. xxxii., and Lepsius, D., I., 
PL 133 ; with detailed plans of several, Cailliaud, 
PL xxxiv. ; and general views, ib., PL xxxiii., 
L., D., I., PL 135, Breasted, photo 678. Cf. 
Cailliaud, Voyage, Texte II., pp. 150-2. Some 
of the pyramids have shrines on the east side. 
No details of sculpture are recorded, except 
three photographs, Breasted, nos. 681, 683, 
684, of a shrine with coarse sculpture, the back 
wall having a scene of an obese queen adoring 
Osiris, supported by Nephthys with Q on her 
head ; part of a scene of offering from the south 

3 For this and the next see PI. XXVIII. 



wall of another shrine, ib., no. 685 ; scene of a 
deceased king enthroned with Isis behind him, 
facing Osiris and Isis, from the back wall of the 
shrine in Pyr. 25, L., D., V., Bl. 54 /; and 
portions of the shrine of Pyr. 1 5 (see the follow- 
ing). Lepsius's numbering, beginning at the 
south east, is here adopted. 

49. From Pyr. C 15 of Lepsius, b on Cail- 
liaud's plan, no. 4 on Cailliaud's pi. xxxiv., 
with shrine on the east face and an enclosing 
wall. The back wall of the shrine is sculptured 
architecturally as a doorway with disks and 
uraei, and in the middle was placed the stela. 
This is figured in position, L., I)., V., Bl. 54 e; 
the door after the removal of the stela by 
Lepsius, Breasted, photo 682. 

The stela is of hard granular sandstone, round 
topped, incised with a scene of a man adoring 
Osiris and Isis beneath the winged disk : six 
lines of demotic inscription below. H. 47 cm., 
w. 33 cm. Original in Berlin Museum, Inv. 
no. 2253. Two squeezes of Lepsius. Published 
L., 7>., VI., 10, no. 45. 1 

Isis, wearing the disk and horns and holding 
p in her left hand, stands on a low base behind 
the enthroned Osiris, protecting him with her 
wings. The man faces them on the left, wearing 
plain fillet on his head, collar, and close-fitting 
double garment ; his left hand is raised, and the 
right hand holds a palm-branch and lotus-flower. 
In spite of the obstinate material the surface is 
well smoothed and the scene is satisfactorily 
designed and incised in Egyptian style. 

The lettering of the inscription is archaic. 

: /O^HQp^~fll : *-///$ou/2$z^ : *-5/i 

: /^Sluj9 : ou/oui/fr 
: /"7cr//? : ^crys : J//9cu/^~ ^/Q9^ 

: /*-!£/> 

^///Sou/252^ : ^-3S^ sfc 

1 See PI. XXVII. and a copy of the inscription on 

"0 Isis! Osiris! behold me (?), the 
honoured (?) Taktizamani, begotten of Zekarer, 
born of Amanitares. All food be unto me (?). 
All things be given me (?). Isis ! Osiris ! " 

The inscription follows the usual forms of 
the funerary texts as seen in Kar., with curious 
variations of words and spelling, some of which 
belong to the archaic style and are now illus- 
trated further by the early texts from the 
cemetery published in Meroe, while others seem 
due to errors. From the beginning of the 
terminal formulae or benedictions (formulae B, 
C) the scribe has commenced almost every word 
with 52^, producing the unparalleled forms 
t ?/ t ??S^ for Wcr and *~$52~. for *-*/l. 
In the name of the deceased the third letter p 
is unfinished, and the triangle of the ) which 
ought to join the / is omitted. 

The deceased, who in the scene wears a plain 
fillet like that of the princes who accompany the 
kings and queens, bears a name closely like that 
of the deceased on the altar of pyramid A 28, of 
later date : the only difference is in the insertion 
of **~y. The father's name is the known 
woman's name 9X^V [Meroe and Kar.) with 
co/co(9Z^') added, the latter being a very 
frequent termination of the names of princes, 
and perhaps confined to them. 2 The mother's 
name may be but a slight variation of the 
queens' name, Amanitere. 

This stela is particularly interesting as being 
the only one which illustrates the address to 
Isis and Osiris (universal in tomb inscriptions) 
by a scene of the deceased praying to these two 

50. Spout broken from a table of offerings 
of dark sandstone, with sunk channel, inscribed 

2 Prince Asheraka-rer at Amara (84), Arikakha-rer at 
Naga (5, 17); with the high nobles or princes Litakha- 
rer and Khawita-rcr in Kar. 47. Cf. the male epithet 
*t~~6 / £ 7Uj/cu}^ ) "the Akrer," of great nobles or 
princes 98, 129, and Kar. ; '. V 5*7 00 / UJ ? 94/20; 
and the name U.\u>\Kapovp at Kalabsha, Wilcken, Archie, 
i., 417. 



with four lines of demotic inscription from the 
beginning and end of a funerary text. Width 
17 cm., from back to front 15 cm. 1 

Original in Berlin Museum, Inv. no. 2266. 
Published L., D., VI., Bl. 10, no. 48, as " aus 
den ruinen von Meroe," but 48 is a misprint 
for 46 (see no. 47, above). Lepsius's squeeze is 
marked " von den pyramiden der Ebene in 

Meroe," like one of the squeezes of no. 49. In 
the Tagebuch 4to, IV., 46, it is stated to have 
been picked up at the third group of pyramids. 

Late style of writing. 

The remains of the inscription contain part of 
the initial names of Isis and Osiris, and of the 
royal (?) terminal formulae L, C (see no. 60, 

The Pyramids on the Hills (Groups A, B). 

The other pyramids of Meroe are on the 
nearest hills of the low eastern rana;e, about 
2^ kilometres N.E. of the city ruins. They 
form two groups, A and B, on the northern and 
southern sides of the small Wady et-Tarabil, 
clustering upon the two ridges and reaching 
down the slopes into the Wady itself. The 
walls of the shrines, so far as they subsist, are 
sculptured with scenes of offerings to the deceased 
royalties, with Egyptian religious figures, and in 
a few cases scenes directly from the Egyptian 
Book of the Dead. The inscriptions are in 
debased Egyptian ; in a few cases the cartouches 
are written in Meroitic hieroglyphs, and demotic 
inscriptions are sometimes attached to sub- 
ordinate figures. Altars of sandstone or glazed 
pottery have also been found in the shrines, 
inscribed in Meroitic or debased Egyptian. 
Graffiti occur on the shrines or the pyramids 
themselves in Meroitic and in the Greek character 
of the Christian Nubians ; and there is one 
graffito in the old Ge c ez character of the Axum- 
ite kingdom. The Arabic graffiti appear to be 
of recent date. 

Plans of the two groups are given by Cail- 
liatjd, Voyage a Meroe, i., PI. xxxv. ; Hoskins, 
Ethiopia, PI. v. ; and Lepsius, D., L, 134. 

In the following pages the Egyptian inscrip- 
tions of the pyramids are noted so far as they 
provide Meroitic names. The numbering of the 
pyramids is that of Lepsius. 


In the southern or A group the pyramids 1-3 
are widely spaced on the heights in a line at 
right angles to the closely ranged 8-15, which 
occupy the top of a ridge ; 16-20 turn a corner 
at the end of the hill nearest to Meroe and are 
smaller, but are conspicuous from their position. 
The rest are, with few exceptions, on a lower 
level and less imposing. 




o <=> 


Pyramid A 1 (Cailliaod, x ; Budge, 2 22) is 
very interesting as being for 
(apparently) the Natakamani who 
built the temple of Ammon at 
Naga, and is found also at Wad 
Benaga, Meroe, Napata, and 
Amara. The pyramid is of quite 
moderate size, with a base of about thirty feet, 
the shrine oriented more to the southward than 
any of the others, about S.E. On the back wall 
the king is figured (with the above cartouches) 
as Osiris enthroned, with Isis (i.e., the queen?) 
behind him, while a royal prince offers incense. 
On the side walls were scenes of offering to the 
king in human form with the winged Isis behind; 
troops of men and horses or asses are seen, but 
most is destroyed. (L., B.,Y., 25 a, b; Breasted, 
photos 645, 645a, 646.) 

Pyr. A 6 (Cailliaud, P ; Budge, no. 15). A 
small pyramid, measuring twenty feet at the 
base, with a step in it, matching that of Candace, 
no. 20, at the other end of the hill. It was 

2 See Budge, Egyptian Sudan, vol. i., ch. x. 



demolished in 1903 by Dr. Bodge, who found 
fragments of a table of offerings of green glazed 
red pottery on the site of the shrine (Budge, 
Sudan, i., 348) ; cf. no. 73, below. A sculpture 
of a camel was copied here by Lepsics (D., 
V., 28 a). 

Pyrs. A 8-10 are of the largest size, with a 
base of over sixty feet square. The sculptures 
of the shrine of A 9 (L., D., V., 26, 27 ; com- 
plete in Breasted, photos 636-640) are well 
preserved, and show a king and queen, together 
with offerings and long rows of attendants, in 
the Meroite style ; but unfortunately there are 
no inscriptions. 

Pyr. A 10 (Cailliaud, L; Budge, no. 11). 
The shrine was approached through a pylon 
and two courts. The south tower of the pylon 
stands sculptured with a colossal figure of Horus 
accompanied by a hound, but apparently with- 
out inscription, even when more perfect in 
Cailliaud's time. A cornice block with the 
head of Osiris between the kneeling Isis and 
Nephthys winged, as an extraordinary substitute 
for the winged disk, is probably from the door- 
way. There are some remains of sculpture in 
the first court, and the walls of the second 
were covered with rows of bound slaves, cattle, 
domestic fowls and ducks, led by men and gods. 
The elaborate sculptures of the four walls of the 
shrine are nearly complete, but the north wall 
has been removed to Khartum, and the south 
wall to the British Museum For all these 
sculptures see L., />., V., 28 b to 34 ; Cailliaud, 
Voyage a Meroi, i., PI. xlvi., fig. 5 ; Breasted, 
photos 624 to 635. In 1905 Dr. Budge 
and Mr. J. W. Crowfoot cleared the shrine, 
and found fragments of a green-glazed altar 
(Budge, Sudan, i., 388); cf. no. 73, below. 
Lepsius published a short graffito in Christian 
Nubian from this pyramid (L., D., VI., PI. ii., 
no. 56). 

The sculptures of the shrine consist chiefly of 
innumerable small figures of men and deities, 

singly or in groups and processions, in the 
Meroitic style, but including numerous Egyptian 
divinities, and a representation of the weighing 
of the soul before Osiris on each side wall. 
There are no large figures in the usual place on 
the back wall, but on each side wall a king and 
a prince are enthroned under a canopy, with the 
winged Isis standing behind them, and a queen 
often appears among the smaller figures in the 
scenes before them. On the front wall is one 
large figure of a Sethon priest to the left of the 
door. The cartouches are blank, and there are 
only a few grossly blundered Egyptian hiero- 
glyphic words attached to the figures of gods, 

fyjj* , Thoth, and jj , Isis, being intelligible ; 

also the following legends in Meroite demotic of 
archaic style. 1 

51. On the North wall (L., D., V., 30, 31 ; 
removed to Khartum in 1905 and re-erected 
behind the War Office), behind the psychos tasia, 
there is a row of women at the bottom. 

(a) In front of the fourth of these women, the 
eleventh from the right-hand end, five lines (see 

(b) In front of the next, in two lines, ?§H§ 
(with looped /)), apparently erased. ^IK 

52. On the South wall (L., D., V., 32, 33), 
now in the British Museum, no. 719. 

(a) In front of the prince, holding the ropes 
of four oxen, almost illegible, **-///'*§,/. 

(b) In front of the third figure in the lowest 
row but one of the women behind the psycho- 
stasia, the tenth figure from the left-hand end, 
three lines. 

51 a and 52 b are duplicates, and give the text 

This seems to describe the woman as " Bake, 
wife of a yere-bereke." /'ySX^ooSV occurs 
in 121. 

Neither 51 nor 52 is given by Lepsius, but 
he publishes four others as from this pyramid 


L 2 



(L., D., VI., nos. 29-32). Lepsius's squeezes of 
all four are at Berlin, but one of them, no. 32 of 
Lepsius, is labelled X, Pyr. d, gr. B, and appears 
to belong to the pyramid of the same number in 
group B (see no. 72, below). 

53, length 25 cm., and 54, length 18 cm. (nos. 
29 and 31 of Lepsius), are nearly identical, and 
show an ancient style of writing. 

The signs are difficult to identify. 

No. 30 of Lepsius is different, and so obscure 
that it seemed scarcely worth while to attempt 
to reproduce it in the present stage of the study. 

Pyr. A 13 (Cailliaud, H; Budge, no. 8). 
The shrine of this large pyramid is buried 
in rubbish. Lepsius, however, copied here 
the remarkable cartouches 
(see his Tagebuch, 4to, iv. 
15). In the diary he sug- 
gests that the former is 
the name of a king, the 
latter of a queen (perhaps on account of the ter- 
mination (]()), though this idea seems abandoned 
in Konigsbuch, no. 945. The first cartouche 
looks like a perversion of f "rtT \ <= a > \ Thrq, 
Taracus (the h would probably not be sounded 
in Meroitic). But ^=^ for a is improbable, and 
perhaps the copy is faulty. 

Pyr. A 14 (Cailliaud, G ; Budge, no. 7). 
This is smaller than the pyramids on either side 
of it. Dr. Budge {The Egyptian Sudan) notes 
that at each end of the tenth layer of stone from 
the bottom are cut jrpf an d "^S- These are 
visible also in the photographs. The shrine is 
well preserved, and covered with scenes and in- 
scriptions in Egyptian. L., D., V., Bl. 35-39 ; 
Hoskins, Ethiopia, Pll. 11,12; Breasted, photos 

The scenes are thoroughly Egyptian. At the 
inner end, beneath the bark of the sun, is a false 
door inscribed and surrounded by figures of 

deities, with a king as Osiris in the centre, seated 
between Isis and Nephthys standing. At the 
inner end of each side wall the kins; is seated 
under a canopy with two ladies (? queen and 
princess) standing behind him, while at the other 
end a large figure in the dress of the Sem priest 
makes offerings to him ; in the intervening space 
are numerous small figures of the king adoring 
the deities of the underworld, agreeing with the 
Egyptian Todtenbuch. No specially Ethiopian 
deities are among them. The large figures 
appear to have had full titles, and the royal 
women double cartouches, but all are destroyed 
except a Horus title of the king, the only 
one known belonging to the Meroitic period, 


In the smaller 

inscriptions the cartouches of the king are =jj= 

(?!3L!j3 ( l " b -> v -' 39 ; cf - 36 ) and ' more 

often, (jf?j ] I) S flfglSfaOtH - 

The appendage "T^l J] ^ J) r is of a tyP e found 

in the second or personal cartouche of all the 
Ptolemies from Euergetes I. onwards, and occa- 
sionally in those of the Roman emperors down 

to Caligula. To judge by this, ~ ' , 

Alwa(?)-Amani, should be a personal name 

like Ptolemy, Caesar, Caius, and n , 

Mawaratake (?) descriptive ; but the latter does 
not look very probable, and I do not know with 
what Meroitic groups to compare these names so 

I am therefore inclined to suggest that (2 i, (2 
in these cartouches has the special value of a ; 
cf. the Meroite demotic form I). We should 
then have the known name Arq-Amani, " Erga- 
menes," Ions; since thought to be hidden in this 
cartouche, and the other name would be Meqel- 
take, formed of the elements (^7)9/) 9 ) (found in 
names at Kar.) and 9%^. But, none the less, 

that C 

it is certain 

] in Pyi 
" Pharaoh," in old Coptic nepo, not Prq. 

($. w 

B 4 




The style of the sculpture points rather to a 
Ptolemaic than a Roman date, but the absence 
of a prenomen makes it hazardous to identify 
the king with the Ergamenes who built at Dakka 
and Philae in the early Ptolemaic age, 1 or with 
the Ergamenes whom Diodorus makes contem- 
porary with Philadelphus. 

Pyr. Alb (Cailliaud, F ; Budge, no. 6). The 
pyramid, about seventy feet at the base, was one 
of the largest, and was in good preservation 
when Oailliattd saw it (see Voyage a Meroe, i., 
PI. xliii. 7-12). Hoskins, too, must have seen 
it in this state; but a year later, in 1834, 
Ferlini destroyed it to the level of the roof of 
the shrine in search of a chamber, and found 
in the upper part the treasure of jewellery 
and bronze vases which is now at Berlin and 
Munich. 2 Dr. Budge in 1903 cleared out the 
core to the ground level, and appears to have 
found a fragment of a glazed pottery altar here 
(see below, no. 73). 

The shrine is remarkable for its barrel roof. 
The upper part of the pylon towers, each of 
which had a window, was evidently removed 
by Ferlini. Over the door was sculptured a 
figure like that of the winged disk, but in place 
of the disk stood a figure of Isis, with wings 
to her arms and legs in addition to the great 
horizontal wings. This has now disappeared. 
On each tower is a colossal figure of a queen 
slaying prisoners (see Cailliaud, Voyage, i., 
PI. xlvi., fig. 1; L., D., V., Bl. 40; Breasted, 
photos 602-604). 

55. On the right-hand (northern) tower the 
queen, very obese, with necklaces, a hawk 
spreading its wings over her head and a diadem 
having a crowned ram's head in front, holds four 
standing prisoners by a cord in her left hand, 
while the right pierces the neck of one with a 
javelin. In front is a bare cartouche in Meroitic, 

1 See Part II., ad loc. 

2 See H. Schafer, Aegyptische Gobhchmicdcarbe'dc, p. 93 
el eeqq., p. 211 et seqq. 

|[£A^P<s>HjJ^k^) , containing the name 
Amani-shakhete, with the common suffix £5A- 
Cailliaud' s sketch, Voyage a Meroe, i., PI. xlvi., 
shows that there were no signs above the car- 
touche. The cartouche itself (in red sandstone) 
was taken by Lepsius to Berlin, where it is 
numbered 2,245. Published L., I)., V., Bl. 40 ; 
Schafer, Goldsclimiedearbeite, p. 98 ; compared 
with the original. 

56. On the southern tower the queen wears 
a tall headdress of disk and plumes, bundles, 
and ram's horns, with fillet and double uraeus 
round her head, and Ammon horns round her 
ears. She holds seven prisoners of various 
nations, together with a bow and arrows, by a 
rope in one hand, and pierces one with a javelin. 
In front of her headdress is the lower part of 
three columns of inscription in Meroitic. Cail- 
liaud's sketch (see above) shows that no more 
is missing than is sufficient to complete the 
cartouche in the middle, Amani-shakhete, with- 
out any titles above. Unfortunately the top 
signs in the right-hand column are very un- 
certain. Published L., D.,Y., Bl. 40 ; Breasted, 
photo 603 ; original compared. 

It is perhaps not too fanciful to restore the 
inscription thus : — 

For the first column com- 
pare nos. 3, 4 over a similar ^) 
scene. In the third one might £?TMT 



in place of m ; 






and the whole might perhaps \\\ ^ Z "^ 

be rendered " Victory to the arm of Amani- 
shakhete, O Osiris, living." 

The altar, see no. 73 a, is inscribed in the later 
style of writing. The royal inscriptions on the 
pylon being entirely in Meroitic also points 
to a late age — that represented by the second 
Natakamani of the Lion-temple at Naga. 

Inside the shrine, on the north and south walls, 
are sculptures of the queen enthroned under a 
canopy, crowned and holding a sceptre, a prince 



(consort ?) seated behind her, and two princes 
and a princess attendant on her. Behind these 
are long rows of small figures of servants, &c, 
and at the top some remarkable groups of 
royalties, deities, wheeled vehicles, &c, but no 

The jewellery found by Ferlini is very re- 
markable, and comprises representations of many 
divinities, but no inscriptions of importance for 
our purpose. 1 The treasure appears to belong to 
the first century a.d. 2 

A graffito in old Nubian from this pyramid is 
published by Lepsius, D., VI., Bl. 11, no. 55. 

Pyr. A 16 (Cailliaud, E; Budge, no. 5). 
Small, the base about thirty feet square, but 
well built. The shrine contains markedly the 
Egyptian type of representations — the solar bark 
over the entrance door, the weighing of the soul 
on a large scale on the south wall, and the pylons 
of the CXLVth Chapter of the Book of the Dead 
on the north wall, with many Egyptian inscrip- 
tions (L., D., V., 43-45 a; Breasted, photos 

The deceased is represented as a prince with 
fillet round his head, having one or more uraei in 
front ; and Sethon priests, &c, perform ceremonies 
before him. The ritual and all other inscriptions 
are in Egyptian. On the north wall the car- 
touches over the large figure of the deceased are 

i ; on the south wall 

1 Elsewhere we see 












and once 






Below the cornice on 

v - / the north wall there — — — 

is a long line of inscription, much injured, with 


below this, in a prayer, J fl jjjjff^ 


1 See L., D., V., Bl. 42 ; Sciiafer, Gulclschmicdearbeiten, 
p. 101 et seqq., and Pis. 21-36. 

2 Schafer, ib. t p. 99. 




The names of the 

king or prince are therefore ^ <=> V\$, Pakartar, 
& r ^=* _22s 211' 

which is found at Barkal (nos. 77, 78), and (1 

, Arikanakharer, differing only by 

the addition of ~«~w from that of the prince who 
accompanies Natakamani and Amanitere in the 
Lion-temple at Naga (nos. 5, 17). 3 His Egyptian 

prenomen, (o-9-LJ jL on the other hand, is the 
same as that of Arakakhatani, who accompanies 
the royalties of the same names on the temple 
of Ammon at Naga. 4 The deceased here is also 

entitled j V , "second prophet"; and probably 
rj - 1 , which generally precedes and is included in 

the cartouche, is to be taken with this, making 
" second prophet of Osiris," the god being 
prominent in the scenes. Otherwise it would 
merely be the appellation of the prince as one 

The style of the sculptures recalls that of 
Pyr. no. 14, and the pyramid is undoubtedly of 
an early period. 

Pyr. A 17 (Cailliaud, D ; Budge, no. 4). 
The shrine is now destroyed, but Lepsius copied 
a slab there showing a prince enthroned, the 
uraeus on his forehead, and Isis on a pedestal 
behind him (L., D., V., 45 b). His titles and 
cartouches may have been foQ$] QQO 
Cailliaud says that it was of 
good style, and the disposition of 
the figures points to an early date 
in the Meroitic period. The sign 

a given by Lepsius is probably 

to be read t (see the note on 
Pyr. 20). 

Dr. Budge [Sudan, i., p. 353) mentions the 
discovery of fragments of green-glazed objects 
on the site of the shrine in 1903. Probably 
they may include one or more of the inscribed 
pieces published under no. 73. 





3 Above, p. 57. 

* P. 63. 



Pyr. J. 19 (Cailliaud, B; Budge, no. 2; 
Breasted, photos 587a-592). The pyramid is 
much destroyed, but the shrine is a good and 
conspicuous shelter, and has suffered much in con- 
sequence. It contains a modern Arabic graffito, 
and an important one in the old Ge r ez alphabet 
of Aksum (L., D., VI., Bl. 13, no. 1). The 
sculpture is of early Meroitic age, and on the 
outside of the shrine on the north are some good 
representations of cattle. 

Pyr. A 20 (Cailliaud, A ; Budge, no. 1). This 

is the nearest of the group to the city, on the 

shoulder of the hill. It is not large, the base 

being about twenty-one feet, but it is remarkable 

for being built like a step pyramid in two towers 

with very steep slope. The north, south, and inner 

walls of the shrine remain, and Lepsius found 

fragments of the door-jambs giving the names 

® a n 

■=££=■ ( 
i I I V 



B-W l 

which he took to the Berlin Museum. 

On the inner wall a queen, wearing the 
plumes of Hathor, is lying on a bier between 
Isis and Nephthys. Her name is here written 

Above is the sun-boat. On the 

(n r-n a^j 

V 1 A^/V»/V\ ^ - > J\ 

south wall is a procession with a funerary bark, 
standards of the Egyptian gods, &c. On the 
north wall the queen is enthroned, crowned with 
plumes of Hathor and protected by Isis, and 
holding sceptre, &c. Before is a representation 
of a ceremony with the standard of Osiris at 
Abydos, performed by a princely priest wearing 
two plumes, and holding bows and arrows, with 
a sceptre topped by the head of Ke, and raising 
a wand aloft. His name and titles, " prophet, 
prophet of Truth," were given in a column 
behind, but they are mutilated and uncertain. 
All the inscriptions are Egyptian. 

These scenes and inscriptions are shown in 
L., D., V., Bl. 40, 41 ; Breasted, photos 583-587. 



V aa/wna 


once written 

(l^l 1 ^^ 11 O J' was at ^ c ^ me °^ * ts c ^ s " 

covery recognized as the probable equivalent of 
Candace, Ka^Sa/o?, although ^£7 (1(1 should 
properly read hbyt, not kyt. Against this last 
reading, however, it can be urged that a phono- 
gram expressing two consonants is not to be 
expected in spelling names in cartouches, where, 

j ii i ii i i n 

apart from the traditional of Ammon, only 


alphabetic signs and groups are employed. 
Further, the queen's appellation, (_£:&) p^* 3)"^, 
Katake, in inscr. 4 seems to be the equivalent in 
Meroitic spelling of KavhaK-q, and would tally 
very well with the Egyptian cartouche when 

corrected to f^^J (j ^=^ \\ ^J- The addition 
or omission of n is frequent in variations of 
names, as in that of the prince Arikakharer (see 
p. 78). To the people of the time the sub- 
stitution of kz^ or ^L£7 for ^=^> would cause no 
difficulty, and they might even consider that it 
produced a pleasing variety in the signs, like 
<—=> _2=& f or rr - m Arikanakharer. 

Assuming that the name (^^J 1 ^^ 11 1 


identical with (^a) [S %» 3) "§s* , can we not also 

uspect an equation between ( ( 

■ inmiii 



. . ■ ■ linn . 

j, Amanitere, 

which name seems to have preceded [S ^ 3> %* 

in inscr. 4? It seems quite possible that a, 

sometimes used for A a, should have been 

employed in names to denote a £-sound, and not 
an initial a or aleph, which is usually repre- 
sented by \. It occurs in one other Meroitic 

name, that of the prince Q "|| ° I \ ] 

in Pyr. A 17, and at present we have no 
equation for that. A strong confirmation is 
given me by Mr. Blackman, who found that 
out of four occurrences of the title Autocrator 
on the pylon of Dendvir three are written 

(l^^T-jl , ^ one ft^T-fl T 

This, occurring as it does at the very time of 
the Candace queens in the reign of Augustus, 
raises the conjecture almost to the level of 



The Candaces known in literature are two or 

(1) The generals of Candace attacked Upper 
Egypt in 24 B.C., captured Syene and Philae with 
the Koman garrisons of three cohorts, and were 
in turn captured in 23 B.C. at Pselchis by an 
expedition under Petronius, which also took 
Premna (Ibrim) and destroyed even Napata, 
where the queen's son was, the queen herself 
being not far off (? at Meroe). A second in- 
vasion by the queen, who is described as a 
one-eyed virago, was checked at Premna. An 
Ethiopian embassy, however, was well received 
by the emperor at Samos, and the obnoxious 
taxes (probably levied on the Dodecaschoenus) 
were removed. 

(2) Before the conversion of Paul, i.e. between 
about 30 and 35 a.d., a "eunuch of Candace, 
queen of Ethiopia, who was over all her treasure," 
met with Philip the evangelist (Acts viii. 27). 

(3) Pliny (vi. 35) says that the explorers 
sent out by Nero (about 60 a.d.) found Candace 
reigning at Meroe, " which name had been 
handed down from queen to queen for many 

Possibly this dynasty of Candaces is iden- 
tical with the Natakamani-Amanitere series of 

The remainder of the pyramids in group A 
are lower down on the east side of the hill, or 
at the edge of the valley. They were of small 
size, and except 31, 38, 39, and the peculiar 37 
(Cailliaud, Q; Budge, no. 16 ; Breasted, photo 
655) were entirely ruined in the days of Cail- 
liaud and Lepsius. One may perhaps conjecture 
that some of them were tumuli covered with 
stones at the top rather than pyramids, like 
many of the smaller tombs in group C. The 
shrines, built of stones, have often survived. 

Pyr. A 26. Lepsids's squeezes of two demotic 
inscriptions from the shrine are preserved at 
Berlin, but the inscriptions are too much worn 

to be copied. The writing is of similar type to 
that in A 27, 

Pyr. A 27. On the north side of the shrine a 
king or prince is enthroned (the head destroyed), 
holding sceptre and flail over his shoulder, and 
protected by Isis. His cartouches are blank. 
Three large figures face him, a man offering 
incense and two women holding palm-branches, 
and behind are women in two rows (L., P., V, 
48 a). 

57. An inscription in demotic of late tran- 
sition style is over each of the three large 
figures offering. 1 

(a) Four lines over the leading figure, a 
young (?) man. Published L., P., VI., Bl. 8, 
no. 33. Lepsius's squeeze. 

(b) Two lines over the second figure, a woman. 
Published ib., no. 34. Lepsius's squeeze. 

(c) One line over the third figure, a woman. 
Shown in L., P., V., 48 a. Lepsius's squeeze 

5 L ))JII5uj/iy, "consort of a king(?)," occurs 
in Kar. The isolated c^ written below the ? 
may be a correction of that letter. 

On the south side the king (?) is similarly 
enthroned ; his headdress is imperfect. A man 
faces him, offering incense, and behind are men 
in three rows. Published L., P., V., 48 b. 

58. (a) The cartouches are incomplete at 
the top, and are now more injured than when 
Lepsius saw them. 2 The left-hand cartouche 

the same as that 

and copied from 

of Nekhtnebef. 

of the 




is an Egyptian prenomen, 
of the earlier Natakamani, 
that of Sesostris I. or 
The second is the Meroitic 
king (see 59). 

(b) Six lines on a tablet over the figure offer- 
ing. Published L., P., VI., Bl. 8, no. 35. 

(c) Three lines in front of the second (?) figure 
on the top row. Published ib., no. 36. 

In the progress of decipherment these inscrip- 
tions will probably repay careful study with the 

1 PI. XXIX. 

See PI. XXX. 



original. I examined them cursorily in January, 

59. Rectangular altar with spout, of hard 
coarse-grained sandstone, sculptured at the top, 
with a scene of Isis (?) on the left and Anubis on 
the right, pouring liquid from two vessels over a 
pylon -shaped table of offerings (cf. Kar. 1 and 
24), with a cartouche-shaped basin in front of 
the table. Inscription round border ending in 
four lines in the spout. 1 Width 44 cm., length 
38 cm., and with spout 49 ■ 8 cm. 

Original in Berlin Museum (Lepsius), Inv. no. 
2254 ; squeeze of Lepsius ; photograph. Pub- 
lished L., D., VI. 9, no. 44. The inscription, 
complete in L., D. and the squeeze, is now 
injured at the left-hand lower corner and the 
left side of the spout. 

The material is of hard sandstone, coarsely 
granular throughout. The whole surface is 
consequently rough, and the execution coarse. 
The field and the channel of the spout have been 
sunk, leaving the border and the subject in flat 
relief, on which characters and details are marked 
by engraved lines. The characters on the border 
are sharply cut, but in the channel they are 
lightly worked and very obscure. 

The goddess wears a vulture headdress and 
apparently double plumes, m ; cf. L., D., V., 
36 (?). The vessel held by Anubis has an 
enormous handle. In the photograph one can 
imagine a human figure with bird's wings at the 
right side of the basin, reminding one of the 
ha /-statues of Shabliil and Karanog, but on the 
original it is clearly no more than the two-looped 
base of the cartouche against the jamb of the 
pylon-shaped altar. 

Lettering faulty, of late transition style. 

The inscription runs, " Isis, Osiris : 
Tame(?)qeraze-Amani, truly (?) born of Araqata- 
fiimkas, begotten of Aretanize," followed by 
the terminal formulae K, L, C, for which see 
no. 60. 

1 Pis. XXX., XXXI. 

In the name of the deceased, 9 ? p xu / '/ "ib J p 
\* i ~'b'7 / y*i~fi^)'$'Z-., there are obviously some 
faults. ^-3V7 can be nothing but ^7>9/), 
the usual appendage to such names. The rest 
agrees closely with the Meroitic cartouche in 58, 

[l i Irk^llff A[lQ • The demotic version 
inserts the 9 ^. , which is omitted at the beginning 
of the name of Amnion in the cartouche, and 
the latter shows that the meaningless / fj must 
be corrected to //). 9p corresponding to ^ 
makes no difficulty, and q can readily be restored 
before the ^, which not very important vowel 
has been dropped in the demotic. The lion- 
bases of Meroe (Aferoe, nos. 8-10) were dedicated 
by a king *~/lJ9^.( :)9 p^-cu/)/^-, and this 
name would exactly complete the imperfect 
cartouche in 57, with fg to agree with the 
Egyptian cartouche by its side. But though the 
altar bears no recognizable emblem or title of 
royalty, it can hardly be doubted that it was 
inscribed for the king who is represented in the 
shrine from which it was taken ; and while some 
correction is needed in the first three signs of 
the altar-name, it can hardly be equated with 
the lion-base name, which is also written in a 
later script. It would be impossible to add the 
three consonants -&&|^:z> one above another to 
the cartouche ; h must be for 9 , as often on the 
altar, and there is perhaps room for /^~~~\ , or 
would be easier. The addition of ^ 
9 p to words is not uncommon in Y 1^ 
proper names ; compare the name of the deceased 
in 59. 

For the name of the mother, Jll 17 \ p Ooj 9 ^ , 
there are close parallels in 7// 3^7 A^ Jf ^-ou 5 2- , 
J/ll}\ t 7^~ou9^., J//lJ/)9^, ouU9/)9cu9^, 
at Karanog ; cf. §\ A P s ^ of the Nile inscrip- 
tions, &c. That of the father, 9 p *-/U /ouS^., 
is seen again at Karanog. 

Pyr. ^4 28. From the shrine Lepsius obtained 
an altar inscribed in Meroite hieroglyphic, and 
a fragment of a pottery altar, according to his 
Tagebuch, 4to, iv. 29. 




60. Square altar with spout, of coarse sand- 
stone, sculptured on the top with a scene of 
Nephthys(?) on the right and Anubis on the left 
of a pylon-shaped table of offerings (cf. no. 59), 
pouring a stream of liquid into a cartouche- 
shaped basin in front of the table. Hieroglyphic 
inscription round border, ending in four lines in 
the spout. 1 Width 45 cm., height 45 cm., with 
spout 61 cm. 

Original in Berlin Museum (Lepsius), Inv. no. 
2255 ; new squeezes. Referred to by Erman, 
A. Z., 1897, 159 ; Ausfiihr. Verz., p. 406 ; Mac- 
Iver, Areika, p. 48 ; the inscription published 
A. Z., xlviii. (1911), p. 67. 

The material is coarse, hard sandstone of very 
variable quality. The execution is similar to 
that of A 27, but coarser. Where the stone is 
of finer grain the tool-marks are distinct on the 
sunk field ; elsewhere the tool has left no marks, 
but has simply cleared away the grains of quartz, 
&c, irregularly. The vulture's head in the 
goddess's headdress has been rudely engraved in 
the sunk field, and her profile is doubly cut. 
The inscription is in general fairly clear on the 
border, but in the channel becomes very obscure, 
especially at the right-hand end of the last line 
but one, where three characters are cut in a 
deep and irregular hole, and in the last line, 
which is partly cut on the vertical edge of the 

The goddess may be Nephthys, with a corrupt 
form of TT? on her head (cf. L., D., V., 50 a, b, d). 
The symbol is hardly [S, as in L., D., V., 24 (which 
may represent w», the symbol of Amenti of 
Thebes, L., D.,V., 26, 43); it may, however, 
be a version of ££, as on no. 59. The two 
streams of liquid appear to unite, and pour in 
front of the altar into the basin, as often in altar 
scenes without the figures ; 2 the vessels from 
which they issue are not traceable in the rough 

1 See Pis. XXXI., XXXII. 

2 Cf. Kar. 40, 49, 62, 77, 98. 

The inscription reads : — 

" Isis, Osiris, the honoured (?) Takizemane, 
born of Napata-zakhete, begotten of Azeqetali," 
followed by three terminal formulae, K, L, C. 

The name of the deceased, ^^^ P^^ %. 3>, 
is of the same form as that in 58, and a closely 
similar name is on the stela 49. Each of these 
names is a compound of the name of Ammon 
with a word having the ending 5)j^~. 

As to the mother's name, since ffl can be 
dropped before 2>, a very close parallel is afforded 
by the man's name : UJcr Jjpft^ in no. 80. 
Can the name mean " Belonoino; to the Mother 
of Napata " ? The last four letters are exactly 
paralleled in the name ^Sc?]j :oj5ou5Z^. 
in Kar. 60. 

The final formulae on the royal altars from 
Meroe are widely different from those found 
elsewhere, but fortunately resemble each other 
closely, enabling us to fix the reading almost 
throughout in spite of bad engraving. In 60 
the reading was only obtained after endless 
examinations to distinguish cutting from faults 
in the stone. 


/^~9^9cuP : I <j y? ?'?J>P9<L.59 



/*-$ ^ JJ 3 p : I *? / *? p uj5 /// 59 

: ra P ^^fl^ra : fl^^-s^k^M^ 6 ° 
M- 9 I . I P : I -7 / <7 ) UJ . . . so 


<7 / > :2V ^ 7V 59 

^aoffl' : ? 1^T : 2>S^se> : ^^.s^^o 60 

*? />" p cr 50 

: m P^ 
The fragment 50 is valuable in giving clearer 



definition of the ) and > than can be obtained 
from 59. The signs on the latter, especially in 
the first line of the spout, are very shapeless. 
All three formulae have the typical termination 
A*- ? 2^. The ending §[ .&& ( = 3 *?) for the second 
word in K and L is not found in other cases of 
the terminal formulae except in the C formula 
of 129. It seems as if these formulae are 
especially royal. 

K begins with 9 y >p9Z^ y a not uncommon 
variant of: 5 }- ) : ;>?2-, the initial groups in 
B. J?) seems to follow on this to emphasize it 
and then "bb. The last word, like the last in L, 
begins with p in the cursive, corresponding to 
the fuller 2>ra of the hieroglyphic. 

L corresponds closely to K, and the first word 
is compounded with oj$/// and /^7 which often 
corresponds to 5 ? ) '. 

C in the demotic texts has precisely the 
same form as in no. 129, and differs from the 
type only in the termination of the first group 
7>*7 instead of c 7. In 59 ~b L 7/ l 7-) seems to have 
been first written (compare the Nile inscriptions 
nos. 26, 30), and then the p altered to ) and c? 
added. The hieroglyphic version of 60 was 
longer, but the four signs marked with ? are the 
most uncertain in the whole text, and probably 
cannot be identified until an exact parallel is 
found. One would expect • §{&& at the end 
of the second group, but j&&, according to my 
notes, is certainly nowhere to be found in this 
part, and •£[ can hardly be read. The ra is very 
probable, especially as the common variant /^"l^ 
for /,> is to be expected in a text which uses 
ffl so freely. r3^^a> : 3> £5 -£a> |^ <s> may 
be an emphasizing of the ordinary ^/^Jc? — 
.2x>£?-£s> |^<s>, and may consist of two parallel 
genitive forms ending in 3>, though it is difficult 
to see on what they depend. The uncertainties 
of reading now seem almost confined to the signs 
between the second V2> and the Effl. : for • is 
fairly clear; instead of ^(5, marked by little 
more than an angulated line and points, I have 
thought of reading £$ from the original ; perhaps 

a fresh examination would show : §\&& :2>£f_2s> 
to be a possible reading after all. 

61. Fragment of a large plaque of green 
glazed ware with whitish body, having ornament 
in relief, evidently from a table of offerings like 
those grouped below under the number 73. 
The remains of the design can be explained as 
the stems of a bouquet consisting of a lotus 
flower between two buds curving over an altar, 
as often depicted on tables of offerings. 1 One 
original edge remains, and on a narrow raised 
band parallel to it are six characters of an 
inscription incised before the firing. 10 "50 cm. 

x 9 cm. Original in Berlin (Lepsius), Inv. 
no. 2138. Published L., D., VI., Bl. 8, no. 37. 2 
The characters are [ / ]^"^/> : ^3 ? [ , of 
archaic form. They may be from the ter- 
minal formula C in the form : **~2> [5 /*??<?'] 


The fragment is of great importance as 
evidence for dating the hieroglyphic altar. Its 
early style is perhaps surprising. 

Pi/r. A 31. This standing pyramid (Cail- 
liaud, T) is particularly interesting as being the 
only one in which the window or niche still 
remains. The pylon also stands, but the walls 
of the shrine have been ruined since Lepsius 
copied them. Before the pylon were traces of a 
portico with four columns. 

On each tower of the pylon is a scene of a 
negro kino;, wearing diadem with ram-headed 
uraeus and ribbons, his garment ornamented 
with numerous figures, grasping a group of 
prisoners in one hand together with bow and 
arrows, while the other hand uplifts a battle-axe. 
His cartouche is before him, much worn. 

62, 63. The cartouches appear now to give 

r»A-2a^ ? i^P%*pE3 2>)- 3 The middle part 
was filled by Wjjj&p^. in Lepsius's copy of 
the southern cartouche, but in each there seem 

1 E.g., Ear. 76. 

2 Pis. XXXI., XXXII. 

M 2 




The reading was therefore 
^PIs*' giving the name as 

to be traces of 
probably with 

Published L., P., V., 49, original collated ; 
Breasted, photos 651, 652. 

Inside the shrine on the inner (?) wall is a 
scene of Osiris — full-faced — enthroned between 
Isis and Nephthys (Breasted, photo 653) ; and on 
the south wall, the king enthroned, holding spear, 
bow and arrows, and protected by Isis (with 
the false legend j] Nephthys), while Anubis 

and Nephthys pour a libation from a swinging 
vase on to an altar of the usual Meroite form. 
Behind them is figured a stout man, and then 
men in two rows. 

Lepsius, Tagebuch, 4to, III. 268, IV. 30, notes 
that this and A 39, standing nearly behind it, 
are the only pyramids which have been com- 
pletely smoothed ; in the side of each, to the left 
of the roof of the shrine, was an inscribed slab, 
which he removed. The holes where they stood 
are still clearly visible. 

64. Slab of friable red sandstone, in two 
fragments fitting together, inscribed with three 
short horizontal lines of large cursive Meroitic 
characters. Width 50 cm., height 28 - 5 cm. ; 
length of inscription 46 cm., height 15 cm. 
The numerals at the end of line 1 are 4 cm. in 
height. Original in Berlin (Lepsius), Inv. no. 
2251 ; two squeezes of Lepsius. Published Cail- 
liaud, Voyage a Meroe, Texte, tome iii., PI. 5, 
1 ; L., P., VI., Bl. 8, no. 38. 1 


The characters (transitional) have been clearly 
cut, but the surface of the stone about the two 
upper lines is streaked with horizontal grooves 
and pits, from which the particles have loosened 
and fallen. One of Lepsius's squeezes was taken 
while the slab was in position, the other after 
it had been removed ; the former shows the 
straight ends of the slab, with the crack across 
the middle, the edges of which are now widely 


The inscription is identical with that of A 39 
(no. TO), except for the differences here noted. 

:3^1J.)uii(-r-) 9?^~p ^Wicr \tl)l4r-X>V 

The first word is evidently the name of the 
person commemorated, Zamakte. ^U^c? occurs 
at Kalabsha (no. 94), and perhaps means some 
kind of official. 9 }^-p occurs again at Gebel 
Barkal (no. 76) ; both Cailliaud and Lepsius 
read //, but p would be possible, the loop 
having a sharp edge on the right different from 
the p in line 1 ; it is difficult to get any 
reading here from TO, but the Barkal word 
seems to decide the reading. 

The peculiar sign before the numeral mi is 
omitted in 70, as well as the following • spot ; 
perhaps it is a variant of the ^"" 7 in 76. 

5/) is clear in 70, but resembles an im- 
possible S / ? here, with two vowel-signs in 
succession. /I?/} is a known collocation. Both 
5X? and 5|^ occur, but the latter is preferable 

Pyr. A 32. A heap with shrine, on the south 
side of the last. 

Lepsius gives a scene from the north wall of 
the shrine. A queen is enthroned wearing the 
head-dress of Isis and holding sceptre and flail. 
Isis stands behind, while Nephthys pours a 
libation, with one heel raised and knee bent in 
an attitude peculiar to this period. Behind is a 
youth and three women, the latter accompanied 
by cursive inscriptions, and in the upper row a 
man holding a caparisoned ass (L., D., V., 50 b). 

Lepsius's squeezes of the cursive inscriptions in 
the shrine (north wall), shown in L., D., V., 50 b, 
are preserved at Berlin, but the inscriptions are 
too faint to be utilized at present. 

Pyr. A 36. This is "a mass of ruins with the 
false door only standing," Budge, Sudan, p. 414. 

65. Slab of friable, coarse red sandstone, 
sculptured with figures from the lowest row of a 
scene of offering. In front is the foot of a large 
figure with raised heel, as of a goddess pouring 



liquid ; following are two small figures of obese 
women with pendent breasts and garments 
hanging from the waist to the feet, the left arms 
raised in worship. In front of the first is an 

The surface is well smoothed, the outlines 
and details incised with some rounding of the 
surface of the arms and breasts, etc. Height of 
inscription 12 cm., breadth of top line 8"5 cm. 

Original in Berlin Museum, Inv. no. 2250 ; 
Lepsius's squeeze. Published L., D., VI., 8, no. 
39, from the Pyr. A 36 ; cf. Lepsius, Tagebuch, 
4to, IV. 61. 1 

The writing is of the later type. 

: 1+-?!/$*/?% : >^ : ?Xioj)9uj*-5 : //) 

: / 1)9'/// 00/ Dp : f> 

The inscription is complete. : / /) is a common 
introduction for names, perhaps honorific, and ?*t 
is appended to names and titles. M- p^P 9^5 fa 
seems possible ; 5^3 is a known group. /^ : 
is evidently for ^~2> ft :, which is separated from 
its word also in Kar. 63; perhaps 9t/9*t$fr is 
a place-name. The name of the woman is 
evidently the last word Taqereye. 

Pyr. A 38. The pyramid still stands. On 
the back wall of the shrine a negroid king, 
holding a sceptre in one hand and crook and 
whip in the other, is enthroned with Isis behind 
him and Anubis and Nephthys pouring libations 
on to a spouted altar before him ; the cartouches 
defaced (L., D., V., 50 d). On the north wall the 
king, holding sceptres and followed by men in 
two rows and oxen, offers to Osiris seated before 
an altar with four bulls above. On the south wall 
the king is enthroned, protected by Isis, a man 
before him offering incense, etc., and men in three 
rows (L., D.,\., 51 a, b ; von Bissing-Bruck- 
mann, Dmkmaler Aegyptischer Sculptur, Bl. 123). 

66, 67. The cartouches on the south wall 
are now in Berlin (Lepsius), Inv. no. 2269. 2 The 
cartouches are alike on the north and south walls : 

1 Pis. XXXI., XXXIV. 


" The King of the Upper and Lower country, 
Lord of the two lands, Nibmare Amani-ten- 
memize." The prenomen is copied from that of 
Amenhotp III., whose monuments are numerous 
in Nubia. The personal name alone is written 
in Meroitic. It may contain the element tn 
found in older Ethiopian names (Schafer, 
A. Z., 33/113). 

Pyr. A 39 (Cailliaud S). A standing pyramid 
near A 31 and immediately behind A 32. Like 
A 31 it has been smoothed, and a portico, in this 
case with six columns, stood before its pylon ; 
see Cailliaud, Voyage a Meroe, i., PI. xiv., 7,8; 
L., I)., I., Bl. 134. An inscribed slab was taken 
from the same position in the side as the corre- 
sponding inscription of A 31, q.v., Tagebuch, 
4to., III. 268, IV. 35. 

On the north (?) wall of the shrine is a 
scene of offering to a king, shown in Cail- 
liaud, Voyage, PI. xlvi., fig. 3. On the south 
wall a priest offers to a king, ©^^ €^s , 
enthroned, holding mirror (?), ^e ^-^ 
sceptre, scourge, etc., and pro- 
tected by Isis, ^^-^[1. 

L.,D., V., 51 c. 

68. North wall, a, inscrip- 
tion over a small head : Lepsius's ^ ^ ^ ^ 
squeeze. Published L., D., VI., Bl. 8, no. 41. 3 

b. Another fragmentary inscription amongst 
lines of sculpture is in Lepsius's squeezes. 

69. South wall, shown in L., D., V., 51c. Lep- 
sius's squeeze, published L., D., VI., Bl. 8, no. 42. 4 

TO. Two slabs of friable red sandstone 
fitting together side by side, inscribed with 
three short horizontal lines of Meroite demotic. 
Width 81 cm., height 27 cm.; length of inscrip- 
tion 49 cm., height 15 cm. The numerals at 
the end of the first line are 4 cm. high. 5 

Original in Berlin Museum, no. 2252 (Lepsius) : 
two squeezes of Lepsius. Published Cailliaud, 




4 lb. 




Voyage a Meroe, Texte, torn, iii., PL 5, no. 2 ; 
L., D., VI., Bl. 8, no. 40. 

The inscription resembles 64 in style and 
condition. The best squeeze, evidently taken 
while the blocks were in situ, shows the straight 
edges of the blocks 0'50 cm. apart, with slight 
injuries, and a larger hole injuring the first two 
characters in line 3. 

Line 1. P (Cailliaud and Lepsius) might 
have been A in the squeeze, but the original 
confirms p. /"r-, not in either copy, can be 
fitted into traces on the squeeze and original 
amongst a chaos of pits and grooves. 

Line 2. The initial letters cannot be 
identified ; but the reading ^~p of the parallel 
seems hardly admissible, unless the shape of }J 
is different from that iu line 1. Cailliaud, 
however, indicates the loop of Jj ', which seems 
impossible; L., P., gives nothing. ^§ however 
seems likely, crossing the join. ) seems right. 
The last sign is not quite like ) in this text, and 
according to the parallel should be 3. 

Line 3. For |^, 1^ might perhaps be read in 
the squeeze, which also shows the top of 5 ; 
in Cailliaud 9 is complete. 

It is important to note that the inscription 70 
on the outside of the pyramid is much earlier in 
style than 68, 69 in the shrine. 

Pyr. A 41. This is one of the group of four 
small graves (A 40-43) which lay in front of the 
pyramids A 9-11, and were excavated and re- 
moved by Dr. Budge in 1 903 {Sudan, i., pp. 342-3). 

71. Lepsius's squeeze of the inscription pub- 
lished in L., D., VI., Bl. 8, no. 43, shows that it 
was engraved in the space between two figures, 
evidently in the shrine. The upper lines are 
indistinct, but there may have been 10 or 11 
lines originally. Height about 16 "50 cm., width 
about 8 cm. (PI. XXXIV.) 

Another squeeze from A 41 shows an inscrip- 
tion in two lines of larger characters, the stone 
worn out in parallel grooves. Possibly it is a 
graffito on some level external surface. 

In the B group of pyramids, only eight or 
nine on the ridge of the hill retain their pyra- 
midal shape, and none are so large as the large 
ones in the northern group. The shrines that 
are preserved are all sculptured in Egyptian style 
and inscribed in debased Egyptian hieroglyphs, 
and no Meroitic hieroglyphs are to be seen. 
They should therefore be early. The pattern 
of the scenes is closely the same in all ; on the 
back wall the adoration of the solar bark above 
a false door, on the side walls presentation of 
offerings to the deceased by men and gods in rows. 

Pyr. B 4 is small, but not much smaller than 
that of Natakamani (A 1). The shrine is fully 
sculptured and inscribed. Part of the back wall 
is preserved with a king (?) adoring the bark of 
Re. An inscription of eight columns below 


1)e s ins "^ — ( ° @ 1 

© in 


" The mother of Pharaoh, let there be made for 
her linen " and other benefits. For this designa- 
tion of the queen compare no. 103 below. On 
the north wall the queen is enthroned holding 
lotus flowers and scourge, while men and deities 

/WW\A S" " ~\| /WWNA Q ^ 

provide offerings as to ,W>AAA f □ ^ . I I) c^£i, 

" one that is king in the underworld." Behind, 
and beneath a small figure of the protecting Isis, 
we have j nni . . ., "year 21 (?)," the only in- 
stance known to me of a date on a Meroitic monu- 
ment. On the south wall the queen is likewise 
receiving offerings. She is named ( ^^ f~^ J , 
i.e., Akinliza or Kenrez(?), or more fully 





Akinliza-laqan (?), and has a second name, 

1 CSMSI^]' Salgraft (?)- The 
inscription in front of her on this wall 
seems to be a dialogue between Isis and 
Osiris concerning the fuJ^J, "good 
(royal) ko" or ghost of the queen. 

1 My own reading of the original cartouche, but not 
closely verified. 



" Osiris saith to Isis, ' Give unto her the cloth of 
the Holy Grave (?), D ^E /"' ; ^ c^3, give to her 
the linen of Ataia, (j (1(1 ^ ^ (i.e., Sedeinga ?) 
. . ., give to her the ... of Psmry, D ' ¥\ 

<==> *r\ \ ^ M'^' =>* ve to * ier ^ ie bands °^ 
^37 fl( ? ) ^ ^, ffive to her the image of 
Mester . . ., c=l jj ^ ^^ jfp o^o .' ' : The inscrip- 
tions of this shrine, if complete, would have 
been unusually interesting. L., P., V., 52, 
53a; Hoskins, Ethiopia, PI. 10; Breasted, 
photos 6 G 4-6 6 6. 

Pyr. B 5 is a large one by the side of 4, and 
its shrine has scenes and inscriptions of a similar 
character. A king is here the chief figure, 




(l°^l»?1 . 


y i /wwsa " y| 

The reading of the name 

cartouche is by no means clear ; but the lions 
from Gebel Barkal in the British Museum bear 

the name., $£ f^] 1g { \ = ^ ffl 
(Lepsius, Ausivahl, PI. 13), and seem to show 
that Asalaw or Amani-Asarwa was intended 
(see L., P., V., PI. 53 b, c ; Breasted, photos 

Pyr. B 6 is another large one, touching the 
corner of 5. The shrine was sculptured with 

ting, m(^j®y 

similar scenes for a 

( !Sl Q gJ . Amani-lekak(?), partly 

shown in L., P., V., 54 a, b ; Breasted, photos 
674, 675. The chapel was cleared in 1906 by 
Breasted, who found a table of offerings in it 
inscribed in extraordinarily corrupt Egyptian 
hieroglyphic (Breasted, Monuments of Sudanese 
Nubia, pp. 13, 14; Sayce, P.S.B.A., xxxi., PI. 
xxv.). The second cartouche is here written 
((| jvgg ^ x^ 7 !' or acC01 'ding to my own copy 
from the original at Khartum the last letter 
may be i i 

Pyr. B 10 is of medium size, the walls of the 
shrine sculptured like the others for a king (?) 
named f 1 ^ _£=& U ^ J, Qarq (?), who perhaps pos- 
sessed two other cartouches, ^^ ( U < 
" Son of the Sun Kaln . . .," and 

in J» 


Q%$w s ^-&*i\$]> " Son of the Sun Bertra -" 

As in the other pyramids of this group the 
names are written very badly. 

72. The only inscription from group B that 
has been supposed to be in Meroitic is that 
published in L., P., VI., PI. 8, no. 32, as from 
Pyr. A 10. The squeeze, however, is distinctly 
marked X (s£c) Gr. B (not 10 Gr. A), and as the 
inscription is in a peculiar style (perhaps early 
Meroitic, perhaps some other script), it seems 
best to attribute it to B 10. 

In the Khartum Museum are a number of 
fragments from five glazed terracotta plaques * 
or tables of offerings found in Dr. Budge's 
excavations at the pyramids of Meroe ; compare 
the fragment found by Lepsius, above, no. 61. 
Such finds are referred to as made in the chapel 
of A 6 (1903), Budge, Sudan, i., p. 348 (cf. 
Breasted, Monuments of the Egyptian Sudan, 
p. 13?), in that of A 10 (1905), ib., p. 388, in 
that of A 17 (1903), ib., p. 353, while the label 
on another connects it with A 15. If we had 
known precisely to which pyramid each be- 
longed the style of writing would have been of 
some assistance in fixing their relative dates. I 
have assigned each to the pyramid that seemed 
most probable from the date, etc., of the ex- 
cavation. In 1903 it could hardly have been 
realized that the fragments were worth pre- 
serving unless inscribed; in 1905 more care 
would have been exercised in this direction. 

73. a. Several fragments of an altar in blue- 
glazed ware with red body ; rim raised and 
inscribed, design of figures, presumably Anubis 

1 The inscriptions are shown on PI. XXXV. 



and goddess, with vase, etc. Thickness, 4*50 cm. 
in the raised parts. Late style. 

Marked, " from pyramid of great queen, Jan. 
1905." The account of the clearance here, 
Sudan, i., p. 373, does not mention the find, but 
there is no reason to question that they came 
from A 15. 

The two fragments of inscription . . . p *Hb c? : 
and . . . co 5 ?- : 5cu//) . . . evidently give the 
title of king (here applied to the queen ?), with 
portions probably of the names of her father and 
mother, Ar . . . and Khaweta . . . For the last 
name, cf. above, no. 32, and several at Kar. 

b. Two corners of an altar in pale green-glazed 
ware, somewhat earlier style (?) ; probably from 
A 6, the discovery of an inscribed corner-piece 
being specially mentioned in the account of the 

The inscriptions . . . . S2- M-3/3 and 
il /b) p52~. may contain parts of a name or 
description of a person, and of formula B. 

c. Series of fragments of an altar, which must 
have measured about 27 X 35 cm. (apart from 
the spout), showing remains of figures of Anubis 
and goddess on a sunk field with flowers on an 
altar between them. There are very obscure 
remains of a hieroglyphic inscription on the 
raised rim. To the right of the figure of Anubis, 

Perhaps from A 10. 

d. Fragments with a vine pattern bordering 
the sunk field, pale green-glazed paste through- 
out. Parts of names (?). 

e. Similar fragment, and perhaps from another 
part of the same. Name of Osiris. 

d, e may thus be from A 17. 



Nothing is recorded from the Island of Meroe' 
north of Meroe itself. Beyond the Atbara, five 
miles north of Berber, and within twenty-five 
miles of the Fifth Cataract, is the site of a large 
town with the usual red brick ruins, named 
Dangel. Here Mr. Crowfoot found an inscribed 
stele. 1 

74. Stela of red granite, the top edge lost, 
the upper part smoothed and inscribed in 
Meroite demotic on one face, the back rounded, 
lower half rough. Height 54 cm., width 46 cm. 
The inscribed surface is 40 cm. wide, bounded 
on either side by double vertical rules, the 
surface ground only, not polished. Ten lines 
remain between rules. The upper part is lost, 
the surface is injured and worn, and the top left- 
hand corner of the remaining portion is broken 

The writing is of the earlier or transition 

:*-UJIS/>:/ t 7?S<?tj:*--'7 


1 Above, p. 8. 

$y/^^~Jj : <>^-..<?^ : d'tSW . ou : V s J/ 
: ^ 7 [.]3: Z^qLicu... : ..S^.?^ 6 ..// 
:..:.. 8 p *-? /WW : bSl)**-. . : . W 0^ 1 

pi 9 Vlph-.S'j/l^lMr.. :....:... 

: **-■} dl. . : 10 ou^^ffSlajsJ/J- 


Line 1. Possibly the title \5cr ioj cr . 

Line 2. SW ^~15 2^. occurs as a name at Kar. 
Can the next be an old version of Z/p^Ji^, 
" the strategus " ? 

Line 3. ^~bJIISI} occurs in Meroe, no. 6 (cf. 
ib., 50). %c? £5 looks like a word in Kar. 78. 

Line 6. Z^'^Z occurs at Umm Soda (no. 45). 

The first two lines may be rendered (with 
great diffidence), " Apile, kharpkhen in .... ; 
strategus (?) in . . . .(?)." If this be fairly cor- 
rect it is not probable that more than one line of 
the inscription (if any) has been lost at the top, 
but presumably a representation of some sort 
has been broken away. 




Abu Deleig, 12. 

Aeizanes, Aizana (Teizanes), king, 36, 53. 

Alti, 8. 

'Aiwa (Aloa), 37, 53. 

Amani-shakhete, queen, 77. 

Amani-tenmemize, king, 85. 

Amanitere, queen, 55, 56, 61, 67, 68, 73, 75, 78, 80. 

Ammon, god, 57-65. 

Anag, tribe, 8, 12, 41. 

Aniba, 36, 39. 

Anubis, god, 81, 82. 

Apezemak, god, 55-61, 65. 

Arakakbatani, prince, 63, 78. 

Arikanakbarer, prince, 57, 78. 

Arikakbarer, prince, 57, 61, 73, 79. 

Arsenupbis, god, 57, 61. 

Artemidorus, 33. 

Assur (El-sur), 6. 

Astapus, river, 53. 

Astasobas, river, 52. 

Atbara, river, 8. 

Axum, 36, 40, 71, 74. 

Basa, Ba'sa, 12-18, 37, 70. 
Begerawia, 12. 
Bes, god, 67, 68. 
Blackman, Mr., 79. 
Blemyes, tribe, 35. 
Breasted, Prof., 31, 45. 
Bronko, 8. 
Bruce, James, 3, 23. 
Budge, Dr., 75-87. 
Burckhardt, 3, 4. 
Butana, 9. 

Cailliaud, 4, 5, 8, 23, 27, 47, 51-86. 

Candace, queen, 33, 38, 39, 55, 79, 80. 

Caravan roads, 7. 

Coxe, Mr. Eckley B., 45. 

Craig, Mr. J. I., 17. 

Crowfoot, Mr., 46, 48, 49, 69, 70, 75, 89. 

Currie, Mr., 8. 

Dalion, 31. 

Dangel (Dungeil), 8, 89. 

Daragab, 6. 

Dar el-Abwab, 6, 8. 

Darmali, 8. 

Daro, 20, 53. 

Dial, 17. 

Dickinson, Col., 27, 28. 

Diocletian, 35. 

Diodorus, 32, 61. 

Dongola, province, 8. 

Drummond, Mr., 14, 17, 46, 69, 70. 

Dumichen, J., 48, 51, 52. 

Dungeil (v. Dangel). 

Eratosthenes, 31, 33. 
Ergamenes, king, 32, 33, 76, 77. 
Erman, Prof., 45. 

Felix, Major, 47, 61. 
Ferlini, 5, 39, 67, 77, 78. 

Galta, 9, 10, 25. 

Garstang, Prof., 45, 48, 71, 72. 

Gebel Barkal, 31. 

Gebel Geili (Qeli), 17, 24-27, 37, 53. 

Geteina, 8. 

Gezira, 8, 9. 

Giren Basa, 12, 13. 

Giren Laot, 12, 13. 

Gordon, 51. 

Goz Bakhit, 8. 

Grabham, Mr., 26. 

Graves (false) in desert, 12. 

Hafir, 10. 

Harmakbis, god, 57, 58, 61. 

Haroeris, god, 57, 58, 61. 

Hassa, 4. 

Hassa Hissa, 8. 



Hathor, goddess, 57-60. 
Hawad, 12, 18-20. 
Heeren, 5, 23. 
Herodotus, 30, 71. 
Hoskins, 5, 67, 71, 77. 
Hume, Dr. W. P., 17. 

Inscriptions, 18. 

Isis, 57, 58, 60, 61, 67, 68, 73,. 74, 75, 80, 81. 

•Jaalin, king of, 13. 

Kabushab, 8. 

Kabushia, 4, 6. 

Kadaru, 8. 

Kageik, 6. 

Kasala, 8. 

Kasemba, 8. 

Kedrou, 8. 

Keraba, 9. 

Kersah, 8. 

Khnum, god, 57, 58, 60, 65. 

Khons, god, 57-59, 65. 

Kbor Aulib, 12, 13. 

Lepsius, 5, 45, 47, 48, 51-87. 
Letorzec, 4. 
Linant, 4. 
Littmann, Prof., 45. 

MacEwen, Capt., 8. 

Maclver, Dr. Eandall-, 36, 39, 45. 

Mankhabale, king, 70. 

Matmura, 11. 

McLean, Mr., 14. 

Meroe, 4, 5, 6-11, 34, 36, 71. 

Meroe, Island of, 3, 5, 89. 

Mikhailab, 8. 

Min, god, 65. 

Musauwarat, 4, 5, 37, 39, 69 

Mutb, goddess, 57, 58, 60, 65. 

Naga (En-Naq'), 4, 5, 14, 38, 39, 54-66. 

Napata, 7, 30, 33, 34, 82. 

Natakamani (Netekamon), king, 38, 55, 56, 59, 61, 

74, 78-80. 
Negro-goddess, 57-60. 
Nekhtnebf, king, 63, 80. 

Nepbtbys, goddess, 72, 75, 82, 84. 
Nero, 33-35, 80. 
Nile-god, 64. 
Nuba, tribe, 36. 

Olympiodorus, 35. 
Osiris, god, 72-75. 

Petronius, 33. 

Philip tbe Evangelist, 80. 

Philae lions, 37, 38. 

Pliny, 32, 55. 

Prudhoe, Lord, 47, 61. 

Ptolemies, 31, 32, 38, 63, 70. 

Puckler-Muskau, Prince, 61. 

Bodos, 8. 
Eufaa, 8. 
Eiippel, 23. 

Sagia, 9. 

Satis, goddess, 57-60. 
Sayce, Prof., 8, 48, 71. 
Scbaefer, Prof. H, 45. 
Seil, 19. 

Seligmann, Dr., 25. 
Sembritae, 33. 
Sesostris I., 63, 80. 
Sbanakazakbete, king, 66. 
Sbarp, Mr., 8. 
Simonides, 31. 
Soba, 4, 23, 51-53. 
Steindorff, Prof., 14. 
Strabo, 32, 33. 

Taka, 8. 

Tarekenizal, king, 84. 
Telakte, 55, 63, 64. 
Tenessis, 33. 
Tremaux, 51. 

Umm Soda, 20-24, 37, 69. 

Wad Benaga (Wad Ben Naga), 4, 67, 68. 
63, 67, Wad Haddad, 8. 

Wadi el-Banat, 4, 69. 
Ward, Mr. John, 51. 
Woolley, Mr. C. E., 45. 




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